‘Out of Your Mind’ at Egg

Sandstone-heads.jpgAn interesting story this.
Tommy McHugh was born in Liverpool. He worked as a builder, and had a history of violence and class A drug abuse. His only interest in drawing was in scrawling tattoos on his arms whilst serving time in prison.

Since suffering a stroke in 2001, Tommy has felt a need to create, and has experimented with painting, drawing, writing and sculpting, dealing with themes relating to his ‘split-mind’, which Tommy states has changed his personality.

Tommy’s stroke was caused by two small bleeds in both sides of his brain known as subarachnoid haemorrhages. Surgeons repaired the bleeds using a clip and a coil. His stroke appeared to unlock his creative side. This phenomenon known as “sudden artistic output” is extremely rare.

The London based artist, Marion Kalmus ( www.marionkalmus.co.uk ) is currently writing a book about Tommy and is also exhibiting some of her photographic works here.

There has been a lot of media interest in Tommy’s case with features in the national press and visits from TV companies. The work itself is interesting, as he’s had no formal training its not the most technically accomplished work you’ll see but there is so much imagination, energy and creativity. Several media are used including metallic christmas tape to good effect.

The highlight for me is the sandstone sculpture which is mounted on a turntable so you can spin it round to see the full effect. Pictured here is just a small detail. There are scores of figures of people and animals all interconnected covering the top and sides of this block of red sandstone, you can look at it for ages and keep finding more things in it. How does someone who has never sculpted before manage to create this?

Also on show are some works by Jamie Reid including a large bright work covering a whole wall and several pieces from Terry Kane, Georgie Connor, Rachel Duerden and Wendela Kazinski.
The exhibition at Eggspace is curated by Headspace and runs until November 2nd 2005