Graham Hudson's Angels and Demons bring their cosmic energy to Mustard Tree

By Richard Moss | 09 November 2012
a abstract painting of shapes and circles
© Graham Hudson

Exhibition Preview: Angels Vs Demons, Mustard Tree, Manchester, until November 22 2012

Angels have long been a source of fascination for Graham Hudson. The Manchester-based painter, currently showing at city homeless charity Mustard Tree, takes inspiration from photos captured by the Hubble Space Telescope of galaxies, whose interstellar explosions of light and colour are, he says, “suggestive of celestial beings”.

“The theme of angels interests me so deeply that the creation of the works has felt almost automatic," he adds, discussing 12 new works.

"It is as if the pieces have been waiting for me to bring them to life for a long time."

Accompanying them are a selection of works representing the "demons" of his earlier life, which included spells in and out of jail and homelessness.

an abstract painting of blues and blacks
© Graham Hudson
As Resident Artist at Mustard Tree, he also facilitates a busy daily schedule of art classes as part of the charity’s Freedom Project, a 20-week course providing valuable skills to assist people into employment or help to cope with daily living.

Mustard Tree was established as a charity in 1994 to assist the homeless, marginalised and vulnerable. From its warehouse headquarters in Ancoats, it has 10,000 registered clients across the Greater Manchester area.

Hudson took part in their Freedom Project course in 2009 before he was invited to become Resident Artist and subsequently Creative Projects Manager in August 2012.

He says the charity has been a "salvation" from a life of crime, alcoholism and drug addiction and that painting has played a major part in his rehabilitation.

Using a technique which involves loading the canvas with a variety of materials including ink, paper, acrylic, watercolour and felt tip, Hudson adds subtle layers to his paintings to form intricately repeating patterns that bring out their cosmic nature.   

“Having previously painted in full view of visitors to my studio at Mustard Tree, these new pieces have been created completely in private,” he adds.

"I am looking forward to the added magic that unveiling the work will bring to exhibition visitors who are both familiar and new to my work.”

  • Mustard Tree, Oldham Road, Manchester. Open 9am-7pm (10am-4pm Saturday, closed Sunday). Admission free. Follow Mustard Tree on Twitter @themustardtree.
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