Drugs and Floods
With an exhibition history that arcs back to Roar Studios in the 80s, Hugh Wayland returns to the white cubes of Fitzroy with recent work, enigmatically titled: Drugs and Floods.
Hugh is an arts industry ‘lifer’, with a career in music and theatre that has toured him around world. Two key travel experiences include off-beat journeys through Papua New Guinea and Mexico, which inform the subject matter of this series of acrylic paintings.
Wayland’s recollections of sketched village life in tribal PNG share an empathy for indigenous imagery and folk art traditions permeating the adjacent Mexican Drug War series. His imagery is suggestive of neo-Mexicanismo – a slightly surreal, kitschy postmodern version of Social Realism – which critiques the social disorder in Mexico with the immediacy of street art and folk expressionism.