Michael McHugh

Michael McHugh has been painting for more than thirty years. His practice has consistently explored colour, composition and textural, abstract form with a strong connection to the natural world. McHugh collects a range of different photographs and drawings during research trips visiting museums, libraries and gardens around the world, returning to his studio to draw and create a series of collages, which lead to large format paintings.

With the use of gestural acrylic mark making, McHugh creates a layered abstraction moving between the paintings’ surface and botanical shapes. Works are sometimes sombre and brooding, and at other times energetic and vibrant, with textural layers echoing moments in time. McHugh believes constant drawing and collaging to be fundamental to his painting process. This foundation enables him to fully explore composition and vigorously push boundaries with colour and technique.

Graduating from Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design in New Zealand, he has attended masterclasses in painting at the National Art School in Sydney, Australia. He currently works in the creative media industry and also exhibits his work in Sydney, Australia. McHugh’s work is held in a number of private collections in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom



2021  Winter Exhibition, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, Australia

2021  Pacific Street, Föenander Galleries, Auckland

2020  Exotics, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, Australia

2020  Semicolon, Föenander Galleries, Auckland

2020  Paddington Art Prize, Defiance Gallery Sydney, Australia

2020  Winter Exhibition, Martin Browne Contemporary, Sydney, Australia

2020  Flora & Fauna, Föenander Galleries, Auckland

2019, Hot House, Project 90 Gallery, Sydney, Australia

2019  Summer Exhibition, Föenander Galleries, Auckland