Paul Hughes is an acclaimed Dublin-based artist renowned for his abstract landscapes, deeply inspired by the enigmatic Dark-Light of Dublin Bay. With a career spanning over 35 years, Hughes is celebrated for his dynamic exploration of light and continuous evolution in his artistic style, captivating audiences both in Ireland and internationally.
Born and raised in Dublin, Paul Hughes has cultivated his artistic career from his studio, a repurposed pig barn in Blackrock, Dublin. This space has been instrumental in his development of an ever-evolving series of abstract landscapes. With a career spanning over 35 years, Paul has garnered a dedicated following, particularly in the last 16 years since he began exhibiting his work publicly.
Paul's first major breakthrough came in 2007 with his inaugural solo exhibition 'Ten Paintings' at The Tramyard Gallery in Dalkey, Dublin. This was followed by a pivotal moment in January 2009, when the DDDA invited him to showcase his 'Absorption' / Horizon series in the exhibition titled ‘Do You Ever Get There’. This exhibition marked a significant success and led to his first solo show in London at the King’s Road Gallery in June 2009.
Since his debut in London, Paul has continued to captivate audiences with two more sell-out shows there. His recent venture into the Asian art scene, launched by Tanya Baxter Contemporary with 'The Chiaroscuro series', has further expanded his international acclaim.
Central to Paul's artistic journey is his fascination with light, especially the enigmatic Dark-Light of Dublin Bay. His work is a testament to continuous evolution, driven by his relentless pursuit of abstracting this unique interplay of light and darkness.
"For a long time I struggled with blue, for me it was the colour of logic, order, organisation. And while I’ve nothing against logic, it’s never been how I work. My process doesn’t do order, my paintings don’t start with a destination. Instead they’re born in the chaos of the doing, painted on the ground, they evolve, they mutate, depending on the light that day, the music I’m listening to, as I move in constant motion around them. And that wasn’t blue. And then, like the lover in a Charlotte Brontë or Jane Austen story that the protagonist first hates but then loves, blue revealed itself. I started surrounded by the wild elemental scapes of land, sea and sky, between the Beara and the Iveragh on the Atlantic-lashed coasts near Kenmare. There, looking at its blues, sometimes for days on end, I saw blue wasn’t order or calm, it was wild, seductive, raw, ungrounded. That it wasn’t one shade, it was a million. That far from being the reassuring presence of the paintbox, it was the maddest, craziest, bastard there was – that, like the sirens of Greek mythology, could change from softness to malevolence in a split second. And that’s what I wanted to paint." - Paul Hughes