Monday, January 12, 2015

Eoin McHugh at the Kerlin - the skies will be friendlier then

This piece was originally published in the Sunday Times on the 14th December 2014

Eoin McHugh is one of the most original of the younger generation of Irish artists. While his work may be underpinned by psychological theory you don't need to know your Freud from your Jung to appreciate it. The dark headless beast that confronts you when you enter the gallery was conceived as a monument to fear and neuroses. Its sources include the vagina dentata, Heaney's Great Elk and the horse Nietzsche embraced as he suffered his breakdown in Turin. The cunningly-lit silver figure of Little Hans nearby, which provides a dramatic contrast in scale and tone, is named after the subject of one of Freud's most famous case studies. Two of the works are giant collages made up of classic Persian and Turkish rugs intermingled to create a new striking synthesis. Two oils feature a woman in a foetal position suggesting the hysteria that was a all diagnosis in early psychoanalysis and a colourful homage to Rorschach's projective testing. But never mind the psychology, feel the wit of this startling and inventive show.

John P. O'Sullivan