Hot news from Willesden!

Yes, Willesden, of all places. Not one of London’s more poetic or evocative areas, you might think.

But come October it’s going to surprise you. Because Willesden Gallery is hosting Patrick Hourihan’s new show, “Acquainted With The Night”.

Patrick is the most important Surrealist painter and object maker working in the UK today. Anyone who disagrees can see me outside. I mean it. Put down your pint and meet me in the car park. Let’s go.

Here’s the gallery’s blurb about the show:

“Inside Patrick Hourihan’s skull there nestles a mental coral reef alive with magical images of unknown dramas and unfamiliar conflicts. His private world is as intense, as complicated and as visually captivating as anything the ocean reefs have to offer. His technical wizardry allows him to explore this world of the unconscious and permits us to eavesdrop on its many perverse and contradictory scenes. His work has the special merit of being instantly recognisable as his. No other artist comes close to his imagery. An intrepid internal explorer, he is quite splendidly alone in his voyages of irrational beauty.” – Desmond Morris, April 2019


This selection of paintings, drawings and boxed found objects represents the work of London-based Surrealist Patrick Hourihan. He has used automatic drawing and other channels of accidental discovery as a way to unlock the poetic potential and sense of the Marvellous that awaits in seemingly mundane and unexpected situations of everyday life. The spirit of this exhibition seduces the viewer to look through newly opened windows with the dreamer’s innocent eye.


Patrick Hourihan is London born. He studied at the Watford School of Art. He has been creating imaginative worlds since childhood, leading to a love of Surrealism while at college. He was, for a number of years, an active member of the Surrealist London Action Group (SLAG).

It’s become the norm these days to hedge about announcements like this with expressions of doubt and/or hope – “who knows where we’ll all be in three months from now”, “here’s hoping it can go ahead” etc. etc. We’re all acutely aware of the uncertainty of the world.

But one thing’s for certain sure: if this show happens, I will be at the private view. With bells on.

ACQUAINTED WITH THE NIGHT:
An exhibition about a Surrealist journey and its discoveries
Patrick Hourihan
5–16 October 2021

Willesden Gallery
Library at Willesden Green
95 High Road
London NW10 2SF

In the meantime, check out some images of Patrick’s work on his Instagram, or grab a copy of his book Objects of Sleep from Head Louse Press.

Update, 2 August 2021: Check out Antonio Ramírez’s terrific interview with Patrick on Óxido Lento.

Image credit: Night Children By The Sea. Boxed construction. Image via Patrick’s Facebook page. Copyright owned by Patrick Hourihan, reproduced under fair use.

Take a peek behind the veil.

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2 thoughts on “Patrick Hourihan: Acquainted With The Night

  1. From the interview: “The rise of individualism needs to be nurtured amidst the powerful corporate agenda and social media.” This is spot on, of course, and I’m glad that he reclaims the theme of “individualism” from the ideologically-blinkered bums who dwell in the political dumpsters who have done so much to misrepresent what this concept actually signifies.

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