Helen Hughes | Mazda 34J
| 2021 | Bronze, acrylic polyurethane enamel
Culture night 2023 the Arts Council will once again proudly showcase a
selection of works recently added to its extensive Visual Art Collection.
To celebrate the
evening we are sharing some insight on each of the artist and artworks which
will be on display:
‘Making and materiality are
foundational in my predominantly sculptural practice which takes influence from
mass produced commodities and the fetishistic surfaces of retail. Manipulating
industrially manufactured elements, I probe the homogeneity prevalent in
consumerist society to participate and engage with capitalist concepts and
Honing and developing my
own improvised, markedly physical processes, and utilising materials that are
wilful and difficult to control (eg, balloons, fast-cast resins and foams) my
practice is rooted in the body and its ways of understanding. My intention counters
increasingly virtual ways of navigating the world and a growing remove from
materiality. Pushing against the nature of materials and their designed
functioning, I embrace the surprise and perversity that materialises to
reference the accidental/incidental occurring in manufacture.
Drawing attention to
latent qualities and hidden agency within materials, I view this as an
expansion of the industrial process where my improvised actions result in a
more human sensibility.’
Helen Hughes is a visual
artist living and working in Dublin. She is a graduate of Chelsea College of
Art and Design, London (BA Hons Fine Art) and IADT, Dublin (MA Visual Arts
Practices, 2007). Her most recent solo exhibition, “and Yes, daydreamer s u r R
e n d e r “ was presented at Roscommon Arts Centre in January 2022. Recent
group exhibitions include “Periodical Review #9” at Pallas Projects, Dublin
(2019), “Dearly Beloved…” VISUAL, Carlow (2019), “Syntonic State" TULCA,
Galway (2018) and “A Bounce Borrowed”, The Dock, Carrick on Shannon (2017). She
was a recipient of a Creative Ireland Visual Arts Bursary in 2022 and 2020, and
a Visual Arts Agility grant from the Arts Council in 2020. She is the 2022
recipient of the NCAD MA Studio Award and is currently a participating artist
on “Platform 31”, a development scheme facilitated by the Arts Council and
Local Authority Arts Offices. Helen’s recent and upcoming projects include solo
exhibitions at the Customs House Gallery in Mayo (2022) and at Ballina Arts
The Arts Council Collection was established in 1962
and now comprises almost 1,350 works of modern and contemporary Irish art.
This year we are delighted to once again welcome
audiences to the Arts Council buildings on Merrion Square to engage with some
our most recent acquisitions.
Works by many of Ireland’s leading artists will be
shown on the night including pieces by: Elizabeth Cope, Miriam De Búrca, Mollie
Douthit, Justin Fitzpatrick, Marie Holohan, Helen Hughes, Catriona Leahy,
Jialin Long, Kevin Mooney, Doireann Ní Ghrioghair, Emma Roche, Mark
Swords, Amna Walayat and Orla Whelan.
As well as this glimpse into the Arts Council
Collection for Culture Night, artworks can be seen all year round throughout
the country as part of exhibitions and long term loans in public buildings such
as hospitals, universities and schools.
Explore the Collection and more on our website here.