Skip to main content

Blue and Aluminium by Malcolm Hughes

Blue and Aluminium by Malcolm Hughes

Hughes' work is associated with systematic and constructive art where the interest is in the development of order, sequence, rhythms and structural relationships. Blue & Aluminium is therefore about formal, abstract qualities rather than a meaning or narrative. This work has been the object of controversy due to its resemblance to a swastika. It is important to remember, however, that the swastika is one of humanity's ancient symbols of peace (the name is derived from Sanskrit meaning 'object of well-being'). The swastika was appropriated by Adolf Hitler's National Socialist Party in Germany and is now widely seen as aggressive and anti-Semitic. An important difference between the Nazi swastika and the original symbol is in the direction of the 'arms'. In the peace symbol these give an impression of harmony whereas the direction of the arms of the Nazi swastika, as well as the harsh white, red and black colours, give the impression of discord and chaos.