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Carys Anne Hughes, Fine Artist and Sculptor

Carys Anne attended Elevate's 'Artist Facilitator Skills' and 'Professional Practice' courses.

Carys Anne Hughes, a fine artist and sculptor, has a lot to be looking forward to right now.  She’s excited to be moving into new studio space in Colwyn Bay and the recent courses she has completed with Elevate have given her new opportunities she didn’t previously think possible.  Through the training, Carys Anne has come to realise that her creativity as an artist can be complemented by gaining the practical skills needed to run a successful small business.

Carys Anne attended Elevate's 'Artist Facilitator Skills' and 'Professional Practice' courses, run by Dr Maria Hayes, and feels they have transformed her mode of operating.  Brought up in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Carys Ann moved back to the area in March of this year in order to be closer to her family.  As well as learning financial and marketing principles, attending the Elevate courses has given her the valuable opportunity to network with other artists in North Wales.  Part of the success of the courses, she feels, is down to the fact that Dr Hayes is an artist in her own right who understands first-hand the difficulties faced by artists.  Says Carys:

“The Elevate courses have really helped me to look at my practice as a business, by applying practical principles to my work and realising that I can be a business and an artist.  The courses were challenging and you had to apply yourself to the task, but I felt supported and the team activities helped me gain confidence.  The training was highly professional in the way that it was run with hand-outs provided and everything explained.

“I learnt so much and in particular that my weakness has always been in selling myself.  The practical guidelines that I have been given have enabled me to address this and, with faith in the knowledge I can take my art forward, to celebrate my achievements.”

Using a variety of media, Carys Anne restructures toys, found objects and textiles to create sculptures that deal with feelings of fear, rejection and loss. The work draws on fairy-tale narratives and metaphor to connect with the darker emotional experiences of the viewer.  The dismantling process is recorded through observational drawings and short animations created with stop motion photography.  This has the effect of uncovering what lies beneath before the creative reconstruction begins.  In the light of their own childhood memories, the viewer is enticed to interact with the dismantling and reconstruction process to create their own stories, exploring the themes of endings and new beginnings.  There are handmade elements evident in all of Carys Anne’s work through the use of hand stitching, embroidery, and crochet.

With all of the exciting changes that are taking place at the moment in both her professional and private life, Carys Anne is keen to look to the future.  She has been so inspired by the Elevate programme that she has signed up to attend a forthcoming mentoring course.  This is due in no small part to the support she feels she has been given at every stage by the Elevate team and she is keen to share her positive experience:   

“I cannot stress enough how fortunate I feel to have had this opportunity.  It has been very hard work, especially the written homework elements, but so worth it!  The training has influenced how I approach new contacts and made me more confident in my abilities as a professional artist, leading me to start a new body of work.  This is a direct result of the training I received.  I recommend the courses to any artist as I think they would benefit greatly.” 

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