“Most Flammable” is one woman’s comedic story of falling down, being picked back up, brushed off and – in the midst of putting out several fires – became inspired to grow into a better and stronger version of herself.
Kate Hughes, Co-Director of the Bethlehem House Gallery, looks back with humor on several events over the course of a year that (on several occasions) knocked her to her knees. Only through the love, friendship, compassion, strength, kindness and belly-laughter of some pretty remarkable women, is she able to regain her footing.
These incredible women are highlighted in Hughes’ photography series, “Women Who Inspire”. The March 15 show kicks off the “Most Flammable” comedic series – each show highlighting different women in Hughes’ life. The next Most Flammable show takes place on June 6th at ArtsQuest. Tickets can be purchased on their site.
The photographs and stories of these women will be available as a book in the near future.
A Word from the Artist – Kate Hughes
“Most Flammable” – the title was handed directly to me.
On a sash – like the beauty queens of the world get to wear. But theirs say things like “Miss America,” “Miss Lehigh Valley,” “Miss Eleventh Avenue” and so on and so forth.
I received my sash as a fake prize at a holiday Ugly Sweater party.
Who cares, I’ll take it.
I doubt there will be another time when I get to wear a sash… even a fake one.
“Most Flammable.” The more I thought about it, the more I felt it was the embodiment of me, of my story. All of it could’ve gone up in flames at any moment.
Anyone who knew me knew it too.
How can one person find the strength within herself to put out SO MANY fires?
She must rely on her friends, her squad.
So that’s exactly what I did.
In the midst of being pushed around by life’s circumstances, a few life rafts appear with pristine timing. When this happens, you know to grab on tight, close your eyes and just hold your breath.
A chance photography exhibit prompts me to push the envelope with regards to execution.
How do I make my photos special? How can I make my work stand out?
In the middle of my morning meditation (something I’ve added to my daily regimen – in an attempt to lessen anxiety and depression) it comes to me. I’ll take portraits of my friends – incredible women who not only pick me up, but inspire me on a daily basis.
I’ll print their photos on fabric. Then I’ll hand-stitch each image – something I’ve never, ever done before. The idea is either brilliant or incredibly stupid.
Of course, I begin the process in the eleventh hour. Time – tick-tocking away, as it tends to do.
I wake up every morning at 5 am and stitch fabric photos in my teeny, tiny apartment.
Material, thread and sewing needles form a weird jigsaw puzzle all over my living room floor.
Afterward, my framer and magician friend beautifully frames all of my work in record timing.
I get my collection hung on the gallery walls and even though it is beautifully curated by the magnificent Ward Van Haute, it hits me that these women will be walking in and seeing their portraits for the first time.
Established artists will also see my work. Am I really ready for this?
What if it’s not good enough? What if it looks like crazy cat lady does crafts?
The crowds come flying through the door. The artists, the girls I’ve photographed, other friends, family – they are all there.
What happens is something I can only deem miraculous – people like my work.
They actually like it.
I get to witness some of the women I’ve photographed see their portraits for the first time.
Some cry. Some gasp. Some laugh. All hug me.
The evening unfolds into a memory I will always cherish.
It is a pinnacle moment in my life.
I know wholeheartedly that I must continue this project. The work needs to grow and develop into something that we could all use – a happiness movement.
These women, once again, inspire.
This show will touch on events that led to needing an outstretched hand and stories of the women who extended theirs.
Be prepared to think, to laugh and to be INSPIRED.
“Most Flammable” – the fire still burns.
– Kate Hughes
Save at the Gallery with Your Tickets
Tickets for “Most Flammable“ are burning up! Get them now before they are gone!
Also, make sure to grab your 15% off card that will be handed out at the show, which can be used when purchasing work from the Bethlehem House Gallery*.
*discount only valid for purchases made in the gallery.