New exhibition in Leeds puts art in head-spinning perspective

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He’s an artist whose three-dimensional paintings really do seem to leap off the wall.

British surrealist Patrick Hughes has been confounding the visual expectations of art lovers ever since his breakthrough discovery of a technique known as ‘reverspective’.

Patrick Hughes at the exhibition launch.

Patrick Hughes at the exhibition launch.

And now an exhibition of his work has begun at Leeds College of Art, where he spent five years as a lecturer during the 1960s.

Speaking after attending the launch of the exhibition, London-based Hughes said: “I am so very happy and honoured to be invited to exhibit my pictures at Leeds College of Art, more than 50 years after I started out teaching art here.

“At the opening I met again many old colleagues and students enjoying my work by wiggling about in front of it.”

Talking about his use of reverspective, he said: “My pictures seem to move as you move. They come to life when we bring them to life.

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“This is because they are made in perspective the wrong way round, in reverspective.

“If you bob down in front of them, it is as if you have gone up, and as you walk past to the right it is as if you have gone to the left and vice versa.”

Leeds College of Art director Simon Thorpe said it was an honour to be hosting the exhibition of “unique and incredibly engaging” work.

He added: “It was heartwarming to hear Patrick’s memories of his time teaching at the college in the 1960s at the opening.

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“I’d also like to thank Patrick for funding the Anthony Earnshaw Bursary, in memory of his great friend, fellow British surrealist and Leeds College of Art alumnus, Anthony Earnshaw.”

Entitled Forwards To Backwards, the exhibition runs at the college’s Vernon Street building until September 9.

It features seven paintings as well as a sculptural snake made by Hughes in the college’s ceramic department in 1969.

The exhibition is one of a number of events taking place this year to mark Leeds College of Art’s 170th anniversary.

Partick Whelan and Gareth Hayes.

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