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HUGH FRAZER grew up in Northern Ireland but moved to Dublin in 1987 where he now lives and has a studio. He has had a long interest in painting and holds a diploma in the History of European Painting from Trinity College Dublin. He took up painting in his thirties and studied at extra mural classes at the College of Art in Belfast and the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

He currently combines a growing career as a painter with his profession as an expert on combating poverty and social exclusion, especially child poverty. He is a former director of both the Northern Ireland Voluntary Trust and the Irish Government's Combat Poverty Agency.  For five years he was an expert on social inclusion policy at the European Commission in Brussels and then for 12 years coordinator of the European Commission's European Social Policy Network.  He is currently adjunct Professor at Maynooth University.  He is married with three sons.


In my urban landscapes I am interested in the contrast between the old and the new and in the drama of light and shadow.  The abstract shapes they create fascinate me.  I also explore the isolation and loneliness of the individual in the urban environment and there is often a sense of stillness, suspense or foreboding.  Particular views are selected because they elicit an emotional response in me.  Thus, what at one level may appear to be a realistic depiction of a particular place or building is really an attempt to capture my response to the environment around me and to explore my inner feelings and emotions.

My still lifes are a meditation on the inter connectedness of things. What interests me is not so much the individual objects but how each gains meaning and value through its connection with other objects. Developing each painting is a search to find a composition where the whole becomes something that is more and different from the individual parts and which satisfies me aesthetically and emotionally. The fact that the paintings are based on objects that I have acquired or have been given to me by family and friends over many years adds meaning to them for me. Of course, the paintings are also, as in my urban landscapes, an examination of the impact of light on the side of structures and how that connects and brings them alive. At another level the paintings are an exploration of the essentially abstract nature of painting. They are a search for a combination and balance of shapes, and tones and colours that reflect my feelings and emotions.

"Hugh Frazer has a feeling for abstract patterns in his crisply organised, carefully lit urban landscapes." 

Aidan Dunne, Irish Times 18th May 2009

"This beautiful exhibition (of still lifes) will leave you with an appreciation of the meaning and beauty that lie within each of your personal, everyday objects."

Discover Ireland, February 2015