Tommy McHugh
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It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Tommy McHugh on Wednesday 19 September 2012


A truly unique, inspirational gentle man who leaves a legacy that inspired all who knew him or his work



Tommy McHugh was a Liverpool builder, following a brain-haemorrhage in 2001 he has become a prolific artist whose genius continues to astound the medical and art worlds alike.


Tommy‘s experience is known to scientists as ‘sudden artistic output following brain-injury’ his is one of only three known cases in the world.


The strokes Tommy had changed him profoundly; if the sense of identity is tied to memory, he no longer had it. For Tommy, his artwork, including poetry, became a means of making his world anew. Outstandingly his artwork, philosophy, identity and way of being in the world grew together, along with a deep desire that other people should benefit from all he had gone through and is continuing to go through.


To that end he has donated his works of painting and sculpture, both here and in America supporting many charities; these pieces have realized substantial sums of money.


He has participated in several documentaries about the brain. In one he says to a young man who is struggling with his loss of identity and the response of his family and friends; 'If all the doctors and scientists have no idea what's happening to us, how can our families and friends!'


Tommy wants us to discover our creativity, for life is now and it goes fast. He gives talks to groups and is particularly enthused by other people's creativity. He has given his artwork so that it can be used as a teaching aid, as well as giving talks to students on art based courses.


His philosophy is that positivity is so important, being alive is a gift, there's always more than appears at first, so look and look some more. When it comes to producing artwork, don't judge it and don't be concerned by the opinions of others because opinions vary.


Creativity is process, is expression, is current...try everything, try anything; whatever is produced is authentic when it's our own, even what we learn through others' works can be transformed by 'us-ness'.


July 2012  



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