Brian O’ Doherty Project Introduction

Miranda Driscoll, Director of the Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh introduces the Brian O’Doherty Project. Tuesday 27th February from CCAD


Brian O’Doherty (known as Patrick Ireland from 1972 – 2008), is undoubtedly one of Ireland’s most important living artists. He left Ireland in 1957 and 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 an early exhibition in a box, 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 Brian 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 thirty-six years Patrick Ireland exhibited throughout the United States and Europe a unique series of installations called Rope Drawings.


In the stunning light-filled centre gallery of Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork, behind two layers of liner paper and twenty 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 eminent New York-based Irish artist Brian O’Doherty that were made over twenty years ago and subsequently covered up and almost forgotten about, until now.

Nationwide recently aired an episode featuring the project on RTE1, 7pm , Fri 09 Feb 2018

Miranda introduced herself and spoke about the site of the project:  Erected in 1857, as a former yacht club, the building itself is meant to be viewed from the ocean. It was designed by Anthony Salvin as a palatial, members-only building only to be seen by the select few. The arts centre has had a few challenges to face since its opening in breaking down the public inaccessibility of the space. For twenty-six 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. This is the only organisation of its kind in the east Cork area.

About the Restoration of One Here Now

The restoration of One Here Now began on 22 January 2018 with Conservator Don Knox. The work began with the laborious task of steaming off two layers of liner paper that were covering the murals, followed by the cleaning off of the wallpaper paste that had held them in place for over twenty years. The walls had many holes that had been filled over the years, remnants of other exhibitions and works that had been hung there. These holes needed to be re-filled, sanded and cleaned. Some areas had been affected by damp and these needed to be re-plastered.

With the help of Colourtrend, Don then began the delicate task of matching the colours. “The red was particularly difficult to match due the purity of the original colour used. It was important to get this colour right to ensure that the colour vibration with the adjacent green was recreated accurately.” Don Knox, February 2018. The restoration continues.

The project will be marked by a year-long series of new partnerships, specially commissioned artworks, music compositions, performances and talks to celebrate, re-interrogate and most importantly, preserve these important Irish works for future generations.


Published by C.RodgersArt

Visual Artist

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