My most riveting childhood memories came from staring at old photos belonging to my Grandmother. The power of a weathered photograph to spark connections to strangers was intoxicating. Later, as a part of the “MTV generation,” I was captivated by the emotional stirrings of music videos. And as popular media was impacting my mind, life experiences were shaping my conscience. Growing up as a queer woman in the South and having a brother with Down Syndrome meant that I witnessed the consequences of marginalization. This history of experiences channels itself and manifests as a motivation to create socio-political work.
I strive to give the viewer an emotional spark like the ones I have experienced. My intent is to connect them to the complexities of political issues surrounding sexuality, gender, and the labeling of individuals; as well as with more universal topics such as grief, loss, and interpersonal relationships. I feel a responsibility to be a “ripple in the water,” and to produce visual work that promotes social change and awareness.
© Tonia Indigo Hughes