Tommy McHugh & Jon Sarkin at CUC

Sarkin & McHugh
at Novas CUC NW, Greenland St, Liverpool

Private view: 26/02/08 6pm-9pm
Exhibition: 27/02/08 – 25/03/08
Open: Tuesday – Sunday
(Close on Monday except bank holiday)


Novas Arts presents an inspiring show to launch the arts programme within the Novas Scarman Group’s new Contemporary Urban Centre – North West.

Two artists with an extremely rare condition called Sudden Artistic Output, Jon Sarkin (Boston, USA) and Tommy McHugh (Liverpool, UK) will meet for the first time to talk and work on their art together. Both artists had a stroke a number of years ago and have since developed a compulsion to write, paint and sculpt. They have become prolific, full time artists with exceptional talent.

There are only a handful of other cases in the world of artistic output following sudden onset brain damage, and medical science is yet to fully understand the condition.

Tommy McHugh was born in Liverpool. He worked as a builder, and had a history of violence and drug abuse and had served 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.

American chiropractor, Jon Sarkin, sustained frontal lobe damage in 1988 and found that his primary impulse was to create. He went on to become a successful artist, with hundreds of drawings and numerous shows; there has been intense press interest in him and his work, and a film production company bought the rights to his life story in 1997.

Granada Productions will be filming the exhibition as part of a forthcoming documentary series for Five, charting some of the rare and unusual effects of brain injury.

Erwina A.Ghafar, Director Art & Design for the Contemporary Urban Centre – North West, says,

“We are delighted and very honoured to be working together with Granada and two brilliant artists, Jon and Tommy. Giving out support to these artists reflects our ethos in working with and showcasing the work of people traditionally excluded from arts and cultural activity, and allows us to communicate the real issues of those struggling with or overcoming complex social issues. “