Words: Eva O’Beirne
From 17:00 to 22:00 today, Paul Hughes’ latest collection of work “Bastard Blue” will be on display in The Complex in Dublin city centre. With free admission, this exhibition is a must-see for any art enthusiast.
Born and raised in Dublin, Paul Hughes has been painting for over 35 years but only in the last 16 years he has publicly exhibited his work.
When asked simply why he dedicated this body of work to the exploration of the colour blue, Paul details that he “never intended” to work with the colour, but rather it found him. The cheeky reference of “Bastard” in the title of the exhibition surprisingly contrasts greatly with the eloquence of the paintings’ content, but to Paul the title represents his relationship with his artistic journey.
“The word ‘Bastard’ shows both my frustration and love of the colour,” he explains.
The ruggedness of the “Bastard Blue” reminds even the most inexperienced art lover of the Irish landscape. When asked if any particular seascapes around the country have influenced his work, Paul is careful to highlight that although no real Irish beaches or locations make an appearance, he certainly took inspiration from coastal areas like Kenmare in Kerry.
The variance in light in contrast to the sea that you can observe on the wild Atlantic way allowed Paul to observe how mad, crazy and indeed “Bastard” the colour blue can be.
Within the collection, there is something so familiar yet so alien. The unknown of the colour blue is intriguing, comforting yet alarming. Paul also took inspiration from various aspects of Greek and Irish mythology – the sense of “knowing where you come from” he feels is extremely important to Irish people, hence the sea can universally appeal to this audience.
When asked what he hopes this collection will evoke in its viewers, Paul explains that he would like the audience to approach the works with “an open mind” and to draw their own conclusions on what the subject matter symbolises.
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