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Haunted Geography – Nic Hughes


On Monday I learnt the sad news of the loss of a dear and special man, Nic Hughes.

Husband, Father, Designer, Thinker, Inspiration, and Friend… Nic will be sorely missed by those that had the joy of knowing him and his easy smile; a smile which invited; a smile which spoke of warmth and sensitivity; a smile of intelligence, wit and wisdom.

I first heard of Nic’s diagnosis in June, a rare cancer of the gall-bladder, (rare indeed, and yet coincidentally, has recently torn a huge hole through the fabric of my own family.. Rachel’s Mother, my dearly missed mother-in-law…)

Nic spoke about his coming to terms with, coping, and resolutions with this vicious disease. He spoke eloquently… with clarity and wisdom; and a grace which I can hardly comprehend. He wrote,

“Fourscore years and ten is a luxury, a western conceit. Yet more than anything else I want to see my kids grow up and go grey with my wife. Sadly this is not to be. Our life envelopes have coincided for such a short time and it is painful to imagine separation. However, I am locked in the now and will take what I can.

We all have a contract with finitude and share the same destiny. There are so many diversions and schemas that navigate this fact. Hard as it seems, we have to acknowledge that each of us at the table will eventually be part of the meal. We will eventually become echoes in the ‘field-of-beings’. It is the paradox of the ‘me’ and the ‘we’, the journey made alone and together.”

The Full text (18june2012) is found here

I knew Nic for many years, although time and distance, and such ridiculous distractions, meant that we never drew as close as I would have wished. A friendship and respect, of ‘knowing that out there are people who think in similar ways’, a comfort, a togetherness, a distance and space in conversation.

There are many much closer to him, whose grief will be acute and long-lasting, and most tragically his beautiful family; but the grief here at this desk is raw and angry, sad and broken.

Nic was an inspiration, who saw the world from different perspectives, who elicited new language. We spoke warmly together of Silence and Loss, of the Apophatic space of Love that beguiled and confused us. We shared the places of darkness and light in humanity – expressed through music, film, art and design. Together we spoke a kindred language that could recognise the aching sorrow, the hushed whispers, the dazzling darkness, the interrogation of silence.

I saw in Nic, a man who was open to experience. A man with courage enough to let experience guide his worldview, who resisted dogma and entrenchment, who recognised and embraced the flux, the nuance, the changes, and the questions. I saw in Nic a man who allowed the darkness to inform and bring shadows to the light, and the light to reveal the dark hushed corners, the full breadth of life and existence.

In these; I saw Nic as a man fully alive; a man who enriched me and many others, who created great art and design, who changes the texture and space of the environment around him… there are so many things I would still have liked to say, so many conversations yet to be had…

The times we did spend together, revelling in our love of music, art and literature, were life-giving. Songs of praise against a cold-grey sky of banality. There is a special place in our hearts for those with whom we click – who see the world and traverse similar contours on the way. Nic was one such person.

Is it any wonder we rage against the dying of the light? For now we are left with the space, the memory, the treasure. A vacant gap in the fabric of the universe, never repeated. And family in loss and mourning. Sooz, Jake and Summer, may the love of those around you, and the ongoing tears and love and thoughts of those afar, bring comfort and strength through the times to come.

Nic I will miss you, and cherish your memory in equal measure; thank you for all you have given to so many. Be at peace.

With love,

Gary x



Arquiem (presented by Periplum) told the chilling tale of a boy who murders his love to preserve one moment for ever. With live music, stilts, pyrotechnics, acrobatics and beautifully crafted mobile structures, Arquiem was a powerful promenade performance.

I’m really pleased to see the Corn Exchange, making significant efforts to take it’s already excellent artistic output further into the community.


Rather excited this morning….


RS Thomas

Poetry evening last friday.. fantastic. Discussing RS Thomas, with a bunch of lovely and clever people.

R.S. Thomas (1913–2000)

Via Negativa

Why no! I never thought other than
That God is that great absence
In our lives, the empty silence
Within, the place where we go
Seeking, not in hope to
Arrive or find. He keeps the interstices
In our knowledge, the darkness
Between stars. His are the echoes
We follow, the footprints he has just
Left. We put our hands in
His side hoping to find
It warm. We look at people
And places as though he had looked
At them, too; but miss the reflection.

Sleep Delays My Life

There are plans afoot to make this website work in a more intiuitive way.. we’re working on it, but in between ‘proper work’, so if you are eagerly waiting, (and i’m sure you are).. then please forgive!


Glitch, Concrete, Electronica and Noise


Further to an ancient observation on Moot, (that i was generally listening to the sounds of pedestrian crossing alerts for my musical inspiration), this week has been metaphorically drenched in explorations of Glitch, Electronica, Industrial Noise and Music Concrete.

I was reminded of a small semi/generative piece i designed a few years ago, which never had the pleasure of release due to bandwidth considerations at the time… but hey, we are all, (i hope) a little faster now – so here it is.. Have fun playing with it, consider it like a meditation, and please suggest a title better than APGenMusic-1


Moments in design 1 – Space Invader


This was your moment, when the future invaded the present, that was hungry but not yet ready.

An inexorable shift, a trans-continental rebalance. Never again would the world be understood and received in the same way. You tricksy pixels changed our lives forever, ushered in a new way of interacting with the world. I’m not yet sure if i like you my pixel invaders, but there is no denying it – you changed our world forever, and your stark binary appearance will remain forever an icon to a time that is both future and past, forever.

The Sheltering Sky


… we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless. Paul Bowles

Dance 3


What is it about contemporary dance that i like so much? The inevitable lack of vocabulary, combination of incredible ideas; movement, sound, light, shape and form… great ideas great suggestion, and the wonderful evocation of elusive thoughts.
This show offers a selection of three presentations on a rolling tour. Estella and I went to see it and were thoroughly enriched and entranced…


Art is only of value when it opens society up to a deeper awareness of itself. And of course that is the very gift that the Arts bring! Through song, or dance, or theatre, or writing, the arts can explore subtle and nuanced levels of human experience, or expose deeper concerns in society. This exploration and celebration, can bring communities together, foster new relationships, challenge stereotypes and prejudice, and bring clear change. Diversity in the Arts is a much needed challenge to us all.