Hughie O'Donoghue

"Landscape when it appears in my work is always evoked rather than observed. It is never a 'view' but more often a summing up of a sense of a particular place. The topography of the Barony of Erris in north-west County Mayo has made an enduring impact on my imagination and memory. Even as a young child I could discern in it a certain Arcadian aspect, that is, it seemed, to my eyes, to be a simple unspoiled place where as children we could dispense with our shoes and have direct contact with the ground itself. It gave one a heightened sense of the natural world so that you could detect in the air on a February day the imminent arrival of spring. The nights have a blackness in Erris that is unrivalled in my experience and the few trees that hold on in the face of the Atlantic gales do so at acute angles. Water is in abundance, the rivers, lakes and the sea reflecting the light in a multiplicity of colours and tones. And, at the end of the day, there was always the fire, even in summer, made with turf sods that had been dug out of the ground the previous year. So this is the ground that is an insistent presence in my Work. A painting might evoke an electrical storm, a wind-bent tree or a meandering river, not so much to show you what it looked like but to express how it has endured in the memory."

Hughie O'Donoghue, Landscape as Metaphor, Hughie O'Donoghue, edited by Jo Baring, Lund Humphries, London, 2023

Hughie O'Donoghue (b.1953)
Oil on canvas
1991 / 1994
41 ½ x 39 ¼ in : 105.0 x 100.0 cm
Frame Size
46 ½ x 44 ¼ in : 118.1 x 112.4 cm
Signed, titled and dated verso
Acquired directly from the artist
Purdy Hicks Gallery, London
Private Collection, South Africa
Available for sale, please enquire for price
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