In the early 1990s, art dealer Ray Hughes travelled to West Africa and brought back exhibitions the likes of which hadn’t before been seen in Sydney. Kane Kwei’s decorative coffins that Hughes commissioned became the talk of the town and ascended their own special platform of popular local mythology. Voodoo traced beliefs and aesthetics from West Africa to Haiti and back again.
Since his first purchase of a carved wooden “awale” or seed game in 1974, African art and objects have been an integral part of Hughes’ vast personal art collection. The scope and profundity of this collector’s eye has proved to be astounding. Driven by the desire to exhibit and collect art that intrigues, stimulates and amazes, Hughes seeks it out in surprising places.
This is the first time an exhibition focussing on the extraordinary West and Central African art in his collection has been presented.
Curated by Catherine Benz and Nick Vickers
Exhibition dates: 2 to 6 August (Exhibition extended!)
Official opening: Sunday 2 July, 2pm with guest speaker, Dr John Yu AC
Gallery talk: Saturday 22 July, 2pm. Ray Hughes in conversation with Simon Marnie, Presenter, Weekends, ABC Radio Sydney. Free event.
Click here to view the exhibition catalogue
Listen to Ray Hughes in conversation with Simon Marnie at Delmar Gallery, 22 July 2017
Image: Cyprien Tokoudagba, Cbinglo, acrylic on canvas, 160 x 230cm