"Andrew Hughes’ photographs of rubbish at the beach speak to this dread. His monumental photographs of the banal relics of our evermore super-sized and disposable lifestyles intimate the hidden depths that lurk beyond the superficial disgust with which beach junk fills us. We are dismayed by the desperate irony that the very beaches we seek out as physically and psychically restorative refuges are as irretrievably polluted as our toxic hinterlands".

Lena Lencek, Professor of Russian and Humanities at Reed College, USA.
Author of The Beach: The History of Paradise on Earth

Andy Hughes is currently living and working at Gapado Air in South Korea. Between May and November he will be creating artworks entangled with various notions of the real, the surreal, surfaces, the ocean, circulatory systems, plastic waste and energy.

Hughes was nominated by Clarrie Wallis (Director of Turner Contemporary), other jury members were from MoMA (New York) and the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Korea).

For more information about Gapado Air please see link below.

Gapado Air, South Korea

Andy Hughes는 현재 한국 가파도항공에 거주하며 근무하고 있습니다. 5월과 11월 사이에 그는 현실, 초현실, 표면, 바다, 순환 시스템, 플라스틱 폐기물 및 에너지에 대한 다양한 개념이 얽힌 작품을 만들 예정입니다. Hughes는 Clarrie Wallis(터너 컨템포러리 관장)에 의해 지명되었고 다른 심사위원들은 MoMA와 국립현대미술관 한국현대미술관에서 왔다.

Plastic Scoop

"Very few directors have tackled the complex relationship between environmental issues and digital games. With Plastic Scoop, Andy Hughes makes that connection painfully manifest. By appropriating both the aesthetics of video games and the language of vintage promotional videos and other archival material, à la Adam Curtis, Hughes reminds us that have become aliens to our own planet”.

Matteo Bittanti

Dominant Wave Theory

Dominant Wave Theory

In 1991 Andy Hughes began photographing the plastic waste he observed on the beach, after surfing along the coast of South Wales. Made at beach locations from California, Scotland, Wales and Cornwall between 1999 - 2004, they explore and examine the relationship of beach waste as both an object of visual inquiry and as a reference to the global environmental crisis.


The Red Creeper

Inspired by H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, Hughes has created a new series of photographs made during the fist covid lockdown. Wells imagined an advanced but ailing alien race struggling to survive on a dying planet. Along with the alien invasion came a weird and strange plant called the red creeper or the red weed. When exposed to water, it grew and reproduced flooding the countryside, clogging streams and rivers. 

Red Mine

Following on from his recent project Red Creeper, these photographs continue to apply infra-red simulated aesthetics. Blending reality with fiction, they extend his new approach simultaneously highlighting how mining activity has extensively transformed the landscape of Cornwall. 

Red Creek

Red Creek is a project of entanglements: ecological, temporal, material, imaginary. Flooded daily by the sea, the Creek has a complex ever-changing ecosystem. Hughes simulated infra-red photographs reverse certain natural signifiers. The variegated greens of foliage turn psychedelic, vampire red.

Glastonbury Opus

These selected images come from Hughes' Glastonbury Opus series. They explore tensions between the seductive depiction of colour, sculptural forms with an underlying narrative that describes a type of environmental degradation that results from a large festival event.

American Littoral

These works concentrate on the mundane nature of the beach and intimate knowledge of how the water's edge might be experienced beyond that of a surfer or beach aficionado. Hughes' enduring interest in the interaction between place, objects and the seascape is also evident. His approach to the coast echoes his photographic approach to waste and plastic pollution.

Plastika Alaska

'Oceanic expanses have long been perceivable as overdetermined cultural signs in various geographic contexts and historical periods, and today’s fraught rhetoric about this liquid sphere is no less complex and conflicted'.

Extract from the Essay Ocean Semiosis by Abigail Susik © 2013 Abigail Susik

Wrecked Matter

Paul Nash gave a sense of ‘aliveness’ to everything, even inanimate matter. More than 80 years later Jane Bennet also described in her book Vibrant Matter the basic argument is that everything is alive, interconnected, and in the process: not only plants and humans but rocks and air. Since 2018 Hughes has been visiting sites where the British artist Paul Nash created work. This page shows some of the recent work from Hughes' travels to a number of site visited by Paul Nash.


A dedicated page that explores motivation and methodology underpinning Hughes practice. Works from 1989 - 1999 are featured which gives an insight into his current practice.


Once used and tossed away, all manner of convenience-driven items such as coffee cups, bottled water, sandwich cartons start their life in all habitats and locations from the remotest outpost of human settlements to the urban sprawls of major cities.

Circularty Art Work

Works created for the project: Gyre, The Plastic Ocean.
The cyclic narrative of the Pacific Gyre is driven by immense oceanic global systems. Our cognition of the disposal and dispersal of human debris is founded partly by photographic recorded evidence and that of narratives based upon systematic scientific investigation.

Circularity ll

“Consider the subtleness of the sea; how its most dreaded creatures glide under water, unapparent for the most part, and treacherously hidden beneath the loveliest tints of azure….. Consider all this; and then turn to this green, gentle, and most docile earth; consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself ? ”

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick, 1851


In 1990 Andy Hughes discovered an unusual material, it felt and looked like ‘plastic rock’. These forms were integrated into a number of his early photographic works. Some of the images displayed here were made using 5×4 Fuji Transparency film, they were included in his graduating exhibition at the Royal College of Art, Gulbenkian Gallery, London in 1991. Recently he has re-developed several works using collected materials from various locations.

Gyre The Plastic Ocean

Gyre: The Plastic Ocean

Anchorage Museum, Alaska

Andy Hughes, Pam Longobardi, Mark Dion, Karen Larsen and a team of scientists investigate the buildup of marine and plastic debris along the Alaskan coast. This project was unique, it was the worlds first art and science exhibition that brought the problem of ocean plastic pollution further into perspective. The exhibition, book and film explore the complex relationship between humans and the ocean in a contemporary culture of consumption.


These photographs offer an insight into the world of the surf-grom (an under 16 young girl or boy surfer). Andy Hughes’ portrait series of young surfers show his sitters often clad in neoprene, emblazoned with logos and graphic symbols, they seem both vulnerable and confident. Each looks out at us, with all the trappings of modern contemporary life. The current cultural fascination with the beach and surfers as presented in numerous magazines and commercial advertising sits comfortably with the multitude of various picturesque images of the beach and sea with silhouetted surfers against sunsets, breaking waves. Hughes groms are the antithesis of these recurrent tropes.


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