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Brian O'Doherty/Patrick Ireland's One Here Now restored at Sirius Arts Centre, Cork

April 15, 2018
Sirius Arts Centre

Conservator Don Knox at work on One Here Now, Sirius Arts Centre, February 2018.

One Here Now
The Brian O’Doherty / Patrick Ireland Project
April 20, 2018–April 21, 2019

Sirius Arts Centre
Cobh, Co.
Cork
Ireland

www.siriusartscentre.ie
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In the light-filled centre gallery of Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork, Ireland, behind two layers of liner paper and 20 years of white emulsion, lay, until very recently, a very well-kept secret. One, Here, Now is a nine-part series of spectacular, floor-to-ceiling wall paintings by the New York-based Irish artist Brian O’Doherty (formerly Patrick Ireland), that were made over 20 years ago and subsequently covered up; almost forgotten about, until now. Recently restored by Conservator Don Knox, Sirius Arts Centre, led by Director Miranda Driscoll, has launched an ambitious project that will once again display this work. The project will be marked by a year-long series of new partnerships, commissioned artworks, music compositions, performances and talks to celebrate, re-interrogate and most importantly, preserve these important works for future generations.

The original installation in Cobh, facilitated and curated by Peter Murray; founder of Sirius Arts Centre and former Director of the Crawford Art Gallery was, in 1996, a seminal moment for Irish art. The project came out of a residency that Patrick Ireland, as Brian O’Doherty was known then, undertook at Sirius Arts Centre in 1995-96. The murals—abstract paintings based on Ogham (an early Celtic written language)—demonstrate some of Ireland’s/O’Doherty’s key concerns throughout his 60-year career; namely language, identity and perception. The work was on show for almost two years before being covered up. This ambitious restoration project proposes to renew and celebrate this historic artwork in what is arguably one of Ireland’s most historically significant coastal towns.

The project marks over fifty years of O’Doherty’s interest in the ancient Ogham alphabet. O’Doherty’s use of the Ogham alphabet in this work had and still has, important political and cultural significance. In the accompanying catalogue essay for the work in 1995/6, Alexander Alberro states that the murals and the Ogham writings convey a complex historical narrative that is “one of sorrow and oppression, and once its layers of complex codes are understood, the series of paintings take on the status of a memorial to those who were forced to leave Ireland, as well as an act of resistance against the legacy of what has been described as the ‘age of empire.’”[1]

The project also coincides with Brian O’Doherty’s 90th birthday and the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Sirius Arts Centre. Commissioned projects and partnerships throughout the year will include works by visual artists Brendan Earley, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Dan Graham, Mary-Ruth Walsh, Karl Burke, Kevin Atherton and Sarah Hayden, compositions by Ann Cleare and Peter Broderick, and two new dance works by the internationally renowned Liz Roche Company in collaboration with composer Linda Buckley for Sirius Arts Centre and the Cork Opera House. Events will take place at the Crawford Art Gallery, CIT Crawford College of Art & Design and associated events will take place at the Glucksman University College Cork and the Everyman Theatre, Cork, Ireland.

 

Brian O’Doherty (known as Patrick Ireland from 1972–2008), is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most important living artists. He became known internationally as one of the pioneering figures in the conceptual art movement in 1960’s New York through a multi-faceted practice as a visual artist, writer, critic and novelist. O’Doherty has produced many seminal works including the Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (1966–7) and Aspen 5+6 (1967), which included works by Samuel Beckett Roland Barthes, Susan Sontag and John Cage. O’Doherty is also well-known for his seminal text—Inside the White Cube. He was a director of the National Endowment of the Arts in the U.S. where he was responsible for two major public television series–American Masters and Great Performances. His name is synonymous with Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Joseph Albers and Edward Hopper among others.

In 1972 O’Doherty changed his artist name to Patrick Ireland in protest at the killings of civil rights marchers in Derry, Northern Ireland. After the Good Friday Agreement Patrick Ireland was buried in a ceremony celebrating peace at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, in 2008. For 36 years Patrick Ireland exhibited throughout the United States and Europe a unique series of installations called Rope Drawings.

Major retrospectives of O’Doherty/Ireland’s work have been held at the National Museum of American Art (1986), The Elvehjem Museum of Art (1993), The Butler Institute of American Art (1994), and Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane (2006), the Grey Art Gallery, New York (2007). O’Doherty/Ireland’s art is held in numerous private and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; the Crawford Gallery, Cork; National Museum of American Art, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

Sirius Arts Centre is a multi-disciplinary arts organisation in the small town of Cobh, East Cork, Ireland. It is housed in a beautiful Italiante building that was designed by Anthony Salvin in 1854 to house the Royal Cork Yacht Club, the oldest in the world. Salvin was best known for his restoration work on Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. For 30 years the building has housed the Sirius Arts Centre; an organisation that is dedicated to the facilitation and development of artistic expression on a local, national and international stage.

2018 Sirius Arts Centre key dates

April 20–official (re)launch, with opening remarks from Jennifer Higgie, editor of Frieze magazine. Info here.

April 21–talks at the Crawford Gallery and Sirius Arts Centre, followed by the premiere of One Here Now: A Sonic Theatre a performance of music composed by Ann Cleare, commissioned by Sirius Arts Centre and co-produced with Tonnta. Info here and here.

April 22–second performance of One Here Now: A Sonic Theatre.

Associated weekend events at the Glucksman University College Cork and the Everyman Theatre. Further key events throughout the year.

 

Further information
miranda@siriusartscentre.ie
T +353 21 4813790

[1] Alexander Alberro, "Ireland’s Humanism" in Patrick Ireland, One Here Now, the Ogham Cycle catalogue essay 1996.