Canadian, b. 1973
Rustic Condominiums with Optional Ice Sculptures, 2004
ballpoint pen, watercolour, stickers on paper
107.1 x 107.1 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from the Estate of Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Naylor, funds administered through The Winnipeg Foundation, and with funds from the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance program/Oeuvre achetée avec l'aide du programme d'aide aux acquisitions du Conseil des Arts du Canada
A graduate of the University of Manitoba, Simon Hughes is deeply influenced by childhood playthings such as stickers and Lego building blocks, as well as stereotypical notions of Canada such as snow, hockey, and the Canadian wilderness. The WAG piece in particular embodies these influences and uses them to exemplify the current misconceptions associated with Winnipeg. His “proposed” prefabricated, modular, log-wood, high-rise condominiums, decorated with ice sculptures and inhabited by sticker people representing Aboriginal people and European settlers, are humorous while somewhat disturbing. The stickers Hughes uses are an important part of the artist’s aesthetic. Although not purposeful, the other unintentional smudges and marks on the paper are accepted by the artist as part of the piece.