Richard Hughes and Bernadette Kerrigan: The Lie-By

29 July – 29 August 2020.

PALFREY is glad to reopen with The Lie-By, an exhibition of new sculptures by Richard Hughes and new paintings by Bernadette Kerrigan.

The elements of this exhibition suggest themselves as proximal objects more commonly associated with a recumbent body, such as a blanket, the headstone of a grave or the headboard of a bed. These objects imply a specific history of use; sought on the premise that they might be recognised for their previous function whilst undergoing a process of transformation to reach the state they are now presented in. 

Orientation shifts and turns. The view of or from is enhanced or blurred. Objects present themselves in unexpected stances. Information is seen and mis-interpreted. Visual mis-recognition is celebrated and played upon.

Kerrigan’s paintings index blankets or wrapping and suggest traces of the presence of a body within. They are deliberately composed with a landscape orientation. The paintings show the palimpsests and residues of a history of decisions on the canvas surface. Departing from varied starting points, they risk a range of degrees of resolution. 

Orientation is an issue shared with Hughes’s sculptures. A soiled mattress, perhaps dragged in from the street, rises from its normally recumbent position into that of an unearthed headstone slumped awkwardly upright. On closer inspection the mattress bears signs of intervention: each stain, sag, rip, is painstaking supplied by the artist’s hand rather than by time and tide. Hughes’s pieces are high fi takes on low fi, often overlooked objects.  

For this exhibition Hughes and Kerrigan have both made works that derive from ‘the bed’ in some direct way, a nod of sorts to their 27 years of living together and sharing studios. The works in The Lie-By acknowledge the significance of bed as both metaphor and place for major life events, but also muse on it as a place for dreams, a domestic arena for the subconscious to run riot.


Richard Hughes’ recent solo exhibitions have included The Great Perhaps, Anton Kern Gallery, New York (2019); Field Trip, The Modern Institute, Glasgow (2014), Time Is Over, Time Has Come, Firstsite, Colchester (2013). He is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow; and Anton Kern Gallery, New York.

Bernadette Kerrigan graduated in Painting from The Royal College of Art in 2017. Recent group exhibitions have included Colours that no-one knows the name of, Recent Activity, Birmingham (2018); Beep Painting Prize, Swansea (2018), Malevolent Eldritch Shrieking, Attercliffe™, Sheffield (2018); Pharmacy For Idiots, Rob Tufnell at Tanya Leighton Gallery, Cologne, (2017).

Bernadette Kerrigan
Casket Saddle, 2020
oil on canvas
150 x 210 cm
Richard Hughes
Rain or Shine, 2020
stitched and quilted fabric
188 x 126 x 31 cm
Bernadette Kerrigan
Thicking, 2020
oil on canvas
60 x 45 cm
Richard Hughes
Bit of a Squeeze, 2020
cast polyester and fibreglass resin, acrylic paint
69 x 94 x 7 cm
Bernadette Kerrigan
Coverlet, 2020
oil on panel
30 x 21 cm
Richard Hughes
Corrective Action, 2020
cast polyester and fibreglass resin, acrylic paint
60 x 36 x 10 cm

Photography: Damian Griffiths

© PALFREY 2020