Eoin Mc Hugh, Urpflanze
TR1 Kunsthalle, Tampere, Finland
18 August 2012 - 23 September 2012
Goethe’s Urpflanze is an archetypal plant from which all other plants are derived – much as he saw the forms of the flower as adaptations of the basic leaf form. In theory, the Urpflanze was an actual plant waiting to be discovered and so the studies of botanists after Goethe combined objective and systematic studies of formal similarity and causality with an intuitive lust for an understanding of this plant of plants. In a similar vein Mc Hugh approaches the objects of human experience as both objectively determined and laced with a longing for an all-defining experience.
Featuring watercolours of a young boy and orang-utan in conversation, a provocative waterfall; a neo-Babylonian, upside-down, hanging garden, an eyeball-ball and a stuffed duck and motor boat combined, Mc Hugh continues his exploration into the psychology of imagery. His work, while obviously jarring and at times confrontational, remains delicately rendered and somehow objective – like a series of psychological test objects and images, which have escaped their original function and wield a strange subliminal power. The exhibition also features Mc Hugh’s first video: a study of the recent flooding around Mc Hugh’s remote, hillside cottage and studio in the wilds of County Wicklow. At first broaching traditional notions of the sublime and the picturesque, we are soon led into a study of the brutality and unpredictability of the contemporary climate.