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Hughie O'Donoghue: Territory

Territory presents new large scale works by Hughie O’Donoghue in the context of his career-long exploration of land and memory. 

"There has never existed a time in human history where somewhere on the earth territory was not being contested. Allusions to some of these struggles occur in my work at regular intervals, but the territory that is referenced in the title of this exhibition is personal and is concerned with how identity is formed through an understanding of our place in the world. 

This has become an increasingly urgent question in the last hundred years or so. Very few people now have so strong a connection to a particular place that it provides them with a reassuring identity. Since the Industrial Revolution a gathering displacement of peoples has occurred and its momentum is only increasing. Few people today have the luxury of staying put, of watching the world go by. Ireland as much as anywhere has understood this, with its long history of departures. History and particularly personal history, has become an engine of identity, a way of understanding the world, the how and why of things, a way of connecting."

Hughie O'Donoghue, 2023

Using tarpaulin as his canvas, the artist layers paint to build up richly crafted surfaces that hold and relay these narratives of personal and Irish histories. In the exhibition, recent paintings are presented alongside works such as Knocknalower from the UCC Art Collection and the sculpture A Distant Thunder, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to see the range that O’Donoghue has developed across his investigations of loss, remembrance and placemaking.

Born in Manchester in 1953, O’Donoghue is based between London and Mayo.  He completed an MA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 1982 and was Artist in Residence at the National Gallery, London from 1984-85. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from University College Cork, Ireland in 2005; and was elected to the Royal Academy in 2009 and Aosdána in 2013. Major solo museum exhibitions include Haus der Kunst, Munich; Imperial War Museum, London; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; Leeds City Art Gallery; DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague; The Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; and The National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. His work is in public collections throughout the world including The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge; The Irish Museum of Modern Art, and The Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin; Ulster Museum, Belfast; British Museum, London; Dallas Museum of Art, Michigan Museum of Art, and Yale Center for British Art, USA. 

Hughie O'Donoghue: Territory is supported by University College Cork and private philanthropy through Cork University Foundation.