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Barry W Hughes

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Barry W Hughes

Barry W. Hughes

Born 24 July 1980, (Dublin, Ireland)

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Barry W Hughes received his BA Fine Art Media from the National College of Art Design, Dublin. He resides in the UK. His artwork has been published and exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions in Ireland, Germany and China.

Hughes’ artwork occupies a liminal space between scientific and subjective description. Various tactics, sometimes deceptive, are employed to reflect upon contemporary photographic image culture. Hughes’ works reference particular scientific, anomalous and social moments that often involve a degree of coincidence within their respective narrative.

Bio & Career

After establishing Ireland’s pioneering and award-nominated online photography magazine SMBH in 2009, Hughes wrote for HOTSHOE from 2012 to 2019, interviewing some of the most respected and exciting names in contemporary photography. He has also written for international publications such as British Journal of Photography, GRANTA and Photo-Eye.

Hughes has curated exhibitions, reviewed portfolios and delivered talks for the likes of Photo London; University of Middlesex; The Photographers’ Gallery; Belfast Exposed; Sirius Arts Centre; Photology (Photo Hastings); PhotoIreland Festival; Belfast Photo Festival; Format Photo Festival and Look Photo Festival.

He has delivered lectures for University of Westminster; Coventry School of Art & Design; Kingston University; University for the Creative Arts Farnham and Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology; he has twice been a nominator for British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ issue, and has adjudicated for the international Photogrvphy Grant.


Appears in

Photography books by the artist

  • 2009, Engage – three works on the IRA decommissioning of 2005, Shanghai: 411Galleries, ISBN: 978-1-906713-03-4

Photography books with contribution by the artist

  • 2013, Conveyor Magazine, Spectre/Spectrum Issue 5, US
  • 2013, Dienacht Magazine, Issue 14, Germany
  • 2013, New Irish Works, PhotoIreland. Ireland
  • 2013, Source Photographic Review, Issue 73, UK
  • 2010, The Wild Pansy Press Book of Rainy Day Activities, Wild Pansy Press, UK
  • 2007, Gomma Photography Magazine, Issue 3, UK
  • 2007, Circa Art Magazine, Issue 119, Ireland

Awards and honours

  • 2018, Futures Photography, selected by PhotoIreland, Europe
  • 2009, Culture Ireland, Visual Arts Award, Ireland
  • 2007, Runner-up, Visual Artists Ireland Exercises in Folkatronica Residency, Ireland
  • 2007, Arts Council of Ireland, Travel & Training Award, Ireland
  • 2006, Joint winner, Gomma Magazine Photography Competition, International
  • 2006, Shortlisted, AIB Photography Prize, Ireland
  • 2004, Represented Ireland, Asia-Europe Foundation Second Asia-Europe Art Camp, Tokyo, Japan


Solo exhibitions

  • 2014, NEOP, The Library Project, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2011, Remnants, WerkStadt, Berlin, Germany
  • 2009, Engage, Jing An District Culture Centre, Shanghai, China
  • 2005, Everything Passes, Town Hall Arts Centre, Mayo, Ireland

Group exhibitions

  • 2019, Deep Space Laundry, curated by Jon Feinstein, Washer/Dryer Projects, Salt Lake City, USA
  • 2016, AETHER, curated by Michael Dooney, Jarvis Dooney Galerie, Berlin, Germany
  • 2015, Space Jamz, curated by Jon Feinstein, Humble Arts Foundation, USA
  • 2014, Lumen, The Crypt Gallery, London, UK
  • 2014, Contact Light, ARTICLE Gallery, Birmingham, UK
  • 2014, Of The Afternoon, Vyner St Gallery, London/Twenty Twenty Two, Manchester, UK
  • 2013, New Irish Works, Duo, Paris, France
  • 2013, New Irish Works, PhotoIreland Festival, National Photographic Archive, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2012, Post SCRIPT, There There photographic event, Camden Palace, Cork, Ireland
  • 2012, Photobook Show, Brighton Photo Biennial. Jubilee Library, Brighton, UK
  • 2012, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tactic gallery, Cork, Ireland
  • 2012, Open Exhibition, Bridge Creative Studios, London, UK
  • 2011, For Japan: charity auction, HOTSHOE Gallery, London, UK
  • 2011, An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, Cabinet magazine/Mass MOCA, NY, USA
  • 2010, New Living Art, IMOCA, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2010, An Instructional, MART, touring Ireland, Germany, Slovak Republic, USA
  • 2010, 411 Galleries, Irish Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo 2010, China
  • 2010, Party Animal, curated by Elliot Lessing, SUGAR, Brooklyn, NY, USA
  • 2009, Digital Art Screenings, Rua Red, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2009, @Paris, curated by Stephen Shore, Gil Blank, Denise Wolff,, France
  • 2009, CIRCA Video Screening, D21 Kunstraum Leipzig, Germany
  • 2008, CIRCA Video Screening, Temple Bar Gallery & Studios, Dublin, Ireland
  • 2008, Is It Possible to Take a Photograph of New Jersey Regardless of Where You Are In The World? Pierro Gallery, NJ, USA
  • 2008, Is Mise Ireland, 411 Galleries, touring Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, China
  • 2008, Inertia and Beyond, The Black Mariah, Cork, Ireland


Visitations (2016–2021)

Somewhere between documentary, reportage and hoax lies a story of mysterious characters surrounding a series of UFO sightings during the 20th century. Each image carries its own history. Each chapter contributes to a silent film.

NEOP (2013–2019)

Taking its title from NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program, this is a physical cosmology, investigating particular astronomical phenomena and the science related to the observation and exploration of such.

UFO (2014)

When my three-year-old niece asked her father, where his father was he replied “he’s working far away”. With the truth being that our father has been estranged from our family for nearly two decades, my niece then asked “Is he? What planet is he on?” Of course, we don’t actually know.

Metastatic (2012)

The Conqueror (1956) directed by Dick Powel and starring John Wayne and Susan Hayward was shot on location at Snow Canyon State Park in Utah, USA during May-August of 1954. Snow Canyon is located 220 km downwind of Yucca Flats, Nevada, where above ground atomic testing lasted from 1951-1953. It was widely rumoured that the director, leading stars and a total of 91 of the 220 crew all died of cancer directly relating to the radiation fallout from the previous nuclear testing in the area, helped largely by an article in the November 10, 1980 issue of People magazine.

However, contemporary and subsequent testing of the area for any hazardous material and related health issues have consistently contradicted the rumours, and data collected in the Snow Canyon area in May of 1954 indicated the radiation levels were essentially background.

SMBH (2009) 

SuperMassiveBlackHole online photography magazine was established to reconcile the lack of platform for Irish photographers and multimedia artists to reach international audiences and vice versa. It was designed, edited and published by Barry W Hughes. The free thematic 52-page colour PDF was published three times per year with a mix of open submission and invited contributors. It helped introduce many new talents to wider audiences and bridge international boundaries. To ensure its existence was recorded, SMBH was registered with the National Library of Ireland with the ISSN 2009-2288. 1

External links & References