Eileen Hogan was born in London and studied at Camberwell and the Royal College of Art. She has exhibited regularly in London, nationally and internationally since the 1970s. She also has an illustrious teaching and research career and is Professor in Fine Art at University of the Arts London.
Hogan’s work is often created in series, the artist immersing herself in her chosen subject frequently for years at a time. This exhibition includes works from several such sequences.
The first is work made at and about Ian Hamilton Finlay’s garden in the Pentland Hills near Edinburgh, Little Sparta. Hogan first stumbled across Little Sparta by chance, visiting to pick up a friend who was recording Finlay for the British Library’s Artists’ Lives series, in 1997. She visited and painted the garden, the found objects and sculpture it contains, and Finlay himself for the next 16 years, and this work has recently been shown in exhibitions at the NewArtCentre, Roche Court in Wiltshire, the Fleming Collection in London and the Stockwood Discovery Centre in Luton. A selection also formed part of ‘Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artists’ Books and the Natural World’ at the Yale Center for British Art.
Hogan lives and works in London, her Kensington studio once occupied by the painter Leonard Rosoman, and the second series this exhibition draws on is of London places. These include four London garden squares, Bryanston Square, Edwardes Square, Manchester Square and Montagu Square, as well as Kensington Gardens and Trinity Buoy Wharf. All of these spaces are enclosed or boundaried in some way. Hogan has brought together pictures from the series in which the green spaces are all snowclad, adding another layer of envelopment. The artist finds the colour white, as tone or atmosphere, extremely powerful, and the sudden transformation of a landscape by snow and its slow receding a rich subject matter.
Snow also interests the artist as it carries the imprints of those who have travelled over it and the question ‘how much of a person’s presence can be achieved in its absence?’ is asked, more explicitly, in a final series of ‘self portraits through a wardrobe’ in which Hogan depicts her clothes hanging her wardrobe. These images are strongly personal, the clothes holding something of the shape of the artist, and the artist holding memories of times worn, adding up to a poignant physical and emotional evocation.