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Original Sins
National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, 2022

This installation of new works by Hughie O’Donoghue (b. 1953) is one of several events at the National Gallery of Ireland marking the Decade of Centenaries. Addressing memory, history and questions of identity, the series of six large paintings by one of the leading painters of his generation features a number of historical figures.

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The Red Earth
VISUAL Ireland, 2017

Reflecting on events, memories and the traces of evidence left to us from times past, O’Donoghue uses his family history to connect with and understand the wars that have shaped our histories; and reflects on the personal experiences of his grandfather, Hugh O’Donoghue, in the First World War and his father, Daniel O’Donoghue, during the Second World War. From his richly painted surfaces emerge fragments from the archive of his past, entwined with the disturbing resonance of war. 

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The Tempest: Ireland. Memory. Identity.
Belfast International Arts Festival, 2017

In this exhibition for Belfast International Arts Festival, O’Donoghue has expanded on the themes explored in the body of work One Hundred Years and Four Quarters commissioned by Galway International Arts Festival in 2016. Foregrounded are three new major works, some over six meters in length and an extended version of the moving sculpture A Distant Thunder.

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One Hundred Years and Four Quarters
Galway International Arts Festival, 2016

In these new works, as in previous bodies of work, Hughie O’Donoghue has drawn on his own experience and connections, people that he knew or knew of. 

O’Donoghue has structured the content of these works into four distinct pathways, four quarters; he likens this to the four differing accounts of a murder in Kurosawa’s 1951 film Rashomon. In the film the murder of a Samurai is recounted by four characters; a bandit, the Samurai’s wife, his own ghost and a woodcutter. Their stories are mutually contradictory and self-serving.

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7 Halts on the Somme
Leighton House Museum, London, 2016

To mark the centenary of the Battle of the Somme Leighton House Museum, in partnership with Eton College, present Seven Halts on The Somme by Hughie O’Donoghue RA. The exhibition presents a sequence of paintings recalling seven stopping points, where troops were halted during one of the bloodiest military battles in history, one hundred years ago. Each painting is a commemoration of an individual life explored through a painting process evocative of archaeological excavation.

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The Measure of All Things
Westminster Abbey, Chapter House, 2014

The Measure of All Things features three works of art that delve into the subject of historical memory and remembrance. The paintings also mark a journey in O’Donoghue’s personal exploration of his father’s story and his experiences of the war.

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Stained Glass Windows in
Westminster Abbey

Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London, 2013

In 2013 Hughie O’Donoghue was commissioned to design new windows in the 16th-century Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Queen's coronation.

Described by the dean, John Hall, as "one of the most stunning ecclesiastical spaces in the world", the chapel was built from 1503-1519 and was commissioned by King Henry VII. The new windows replaced the ancient stained glass windows which were shattered by a second world war bomb. 

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Laboratory 05: Hughie O'Donoghue RA - Painting/Memory
Royal Academy, 2012

Hughie O’Donghue’s exhibition ‘Artists' Laboratory 05: Hughie O'Donoghue RA - Painting/Memory' at the Royal Academy explores themes of war, humanity and history. The five works within this exhibition reflect the personal experiences of O’Donoghue’s father, Daniel O’Donoghue, during the Second World War and developed as a consequence of sorting through his father’s personal effects after his death.