Wandering the deserted backroads of the American Southwest, Troy Paiva has explored the abandoned underbelly of America since the 1970s. Since 1989 he’s been taking pictures of it . . . at night, by the light of the full moon.
A multi-discipline artist, Troy needed to find a new medium to create personal art while he worked in a heavily art directed graphic design job. Sitting in on a few night photography classes, he had a revelation when the subject of light-painting came up. Here were techniques that would be perfect for capturing the atmosphere and mystery of the modern ghost towns and epic junkyards he was already exploring. After years of development, Troy's early vision has been fully realized through his unique style and technique. The colored lighting is done with a flashlight or strobe flash masked with theatrical lighting gels. It's effect reanimates these dead places, turning them into mutant tableaus of some vaguely familiar parallel universe. The minutes-long exposures allow the stars to spiral around Polaris and the moving clouds to smear ethereally across the sky. Many of these subjects are already gone; bulldozed, burned down, subdivided, melted for scrap or simply vanished beneath the shifting desert sand.

"I make constructed pictures. I build fictional scenes which I record with the camera. I act out the parts of the individuals in my pictures. However, my pictures are not self-portraits in the traditional sense. The person in the picture is a fictional narrator in the same way as there are narrators in literature. My pictures are fantasies, I represent an atmosphere or a mood through fictional persons. Fantasy is a means to speak about emotions.Making art is for me a reaction to being in the world. I am engaged with my artistic work as I am always a perceiving and reacting human being. I see pictures in my mind, the things I have dealt with come into my dreams and still moments. I cannot stop working as I cannot stop thinking or existing in the world."


"The main concern of my work has always been about people. Coming from the architectural background has drawn my attention to the relationship between human and places. Moreover, my own experience of relocation from Bangkok to the UK drive me to the idea of nationalism and the native identities. I spent a year trying to answer the question that 'how can the term be best defined' by looking at the ethnic minority group of people in the UK and seeing the way they present their own native characteristics within the British context."

His project is a response to our current methods of acquiring food, and their increasing lack of sustainability. In the future our food supply could incur serious problems as there may be competition for farm land. The world's population will rise and currently governments plan to increase production of bio diesel crops. Scientists have been experimenting with cloning and genetic modification of many foods in order to further intensify the productivity of farming. Growing combinations of food on the same tree is an imaginary solution to the lack of farm land that we may experience in the future. These images may at first seem comical but if we continue our current consumer habits these trees could become closer to reality. Processed foods growing on trees may seem far fetched but they serve to emphasise the question of what is going too far. Methods of food production that may have seemed ludicrous twenty years ago are becoming more and more common place.

MRH’s artistic practice is fundamentally concernedwith the self as subject matter for the camera, and acts as ademonstration of the role of photographic technology in individualself-representation. Throughout his working practice, Hughes hascontinued to use ‘time’ as a tool to explore different modes of the selfwithin its own representation. His current work explores the history andthe embalming nature of photography and its subject. This has beenvisualised by Hughes through the practice of hand crafting uniquephotographic art objects.

Winner, Magenta Foundation / Flash Forward Emerging Photographers’ 2009.
Honorable Mentions, International Photography Awards for Fine Art Portrait 2008.