Ruth McHugh was born in Galway and educated at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. She was a founding member, exhibitions officer and member of the Board of Directors of ARTSPACE Studios, Galway from 1987 – 1995. She has held artists residencies at Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan; in Amersfoort, Holland; Firestation Studios, Dublin and in Lorient, France.
Ruth has held solo exhibitions at the Galway and Wexford Arts Centres, Geoghegan Gallery, Galway and the Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick. She has also exhibited internationally with a one-person show at the Galerie Kijk Eens, Amersfoort, Holland. She held a very successful solo exhibition at the
Peppercanister Gallery in April 2005 and has been a regular exhibitor to group shows at the Gallery ever since. Ruth uses photography to capture absence, presence, light and shade in order to imply psychological and metaphorical meaning. Often, images used are of banal objects with components interacting in juxtaposition to suggest various relationships and readings beyond the tangible. Often her images are records of sculptural interventions and installations.
She has also taken part in a vast number of group shows in Ireland, such as the RHA Annual Exhibition, as well as in France and Germany. Her work is to be found in the collections of the Office of Public Works, the Arts Council of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank, Thermo King Ireland and Municipal Artotheque, Amersfoort, Holland.
She has frequently been the recipient of the RHA Annual Photographic Prize.