UTS Library

2018 Artist-in-Residence Natalya Hughes

Natalya’s 2018 residency at UTS Library was concerned with the ‘sleep zone’ under the rear stairs on Level 2. Natalya has always been intrigued by this unusual space and it’s popularity. In re-imagining the area, Natalya explored how this space might be transformed with elements of decor to become more inclusive. Safe Sopor uses décor to activate a space previously overlooked and in doing so, acknowledges both the need for a safe sleep space at UTS Library and the student “sleepers” who use this space on a regular basis. 

Natalya Hughes is an academic and artist who specialises in painting, digital media and installation. In 2018 Natalya was Director of the Photography undergraduate program at UTS. Natalya completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2001 and a PhD in Art Theory at the College of Fine Art (UNSW) in 2009. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2018 she was a finalist in the Sulman Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Mornington Peninsula Work on Paper Prize. Her works are held in public collections such as Artbank and the Queensland Art Gallery. 

Natalya's work is consistently concerned with decorative and ornamental traditions and their association with the feminine, the body and excess. Her work often features existing imagery, reconfiguring it to decorative ends. In bringing the project to life, Natalya worked on her watercolours and pattern designs in the Special Collections Room. Natalya's UTS Library installation, titled Safe Sopor, was completed early in 2019. View some of Natalya’s previous works, installations and residency projects on natalyahughes.com.


UTS Library began its Artist-in-Residence Program in 2012, and has since invited the creative talent of experts to assist us in inspiring playfulness, art and culture in all aspects of the Library's operations. Initiatives such as the Artist-in-Residence Program create an innovative and exciting dialogue engaging our UTS community, students, clients and staff.

SAFE SOPOR was completed and launched in March 2019 and is now ready for you to visit.