Patrick Scott is recognised as one of Ireland’s foremost abstract painters. His paintings and compositions are influenced by his formal architectural training. Drawing inspiration from the complexities of the natural world his imagery is realised with precise analytical observation. A member of Aosdána, Scott worked in tempera, oil paint and occasionally used gold leaf on medium sized canvasses. He exhibited extensively in many major group shows in Ireland and abroad. They include ‘The White Stag Group’ and ‘The Irish Exhibition of Living Art. Scott was elected Saoi by Aosdana in 2007, a position he held for life. This publication, however, rather than looking at Scott’s successful professional endeavours, focuses on showcasing aspects of his personal life through the analysis of personal objects from his file in The National Irish Visual Arts Library - NIVAL. His file at NIVAL contains an extensive collection of newspaper clippings, press releases, catalogues, invitations and images of the artist’s work along with a splendid collection of personal photographs, notes, faxes, and letters to and from his close friends. Scott himself kept these items, presumably due to their sentimental value, as mementos. In conversation with Dorothy Walker, Collection of Photographs and Correspondences, Faxes and Doodles are the three different books created for this publication. They show items from Scott’s file in the archive which were selected to highlight aspects of his personal life.


In conversation with Dorothy Walker transcribes a conversation recorded on 30.8.94 between the artist and Dorothy Walker, an influential Irish art critic in. Scott was a close friend of Walker’s. During this conversation, he speaks about how he became well known, and he recounts stories from his childhood, returning to County Cork on holidays as an adult. He also speaks about his relationship with certain friends and the people with whom he went to college. Scott’s NIVAL file contains a typed script of this  conversation between Walker and Scott. It appears this 14 page script was prepared by Walker and later amended with handwritten notes from Scott. Further research was carried out to try to locate a subsequent version of the conversation script updated with Scott’s amendments, however nothing was identified. The typed conversation in this book reads just as Scott’s  amended copy does, with his annotations floating along the two voices – Scott’s and Walker’s.


Collection of Photographs shows a selection of images from the artist’s NIVAL photograph collection. Scott’s NIVAL file contain a body of photographs, which, apart from the content relating to his works and projects as an artists and designer, is perhaps one of the most visually interesting components in the entire file. Not much is known about the majority of the photos in the archive as they have nothing scripted on their back,  although some photos would have been taken by Scott himself or given to him by friends and partners. They comprise candidly beautiful images retained by the artist, some dating from when he was child, and are curated to create a non linear visual narrative of some of the artist’s memories.


Correspondences, Faxes and Doodles is of a compilation of Scott’s personal correspondences from the his NIVAL file. The artist was a cat aficionado and not only did he own cats himself but shared humorous cat doodles

signed with affectionate messages with his friends via fax – Dana Wynter was one of them and seemed to enjoy exchanging faxes with Scott. This book is entirely devoted to his cat fancy. It gathers scans of his faxes as well as a newspaper clipping featuring a story about a cat story that Scott retained and a letter addressed to him from the CatAid organisation. Collectively these books strive to give an insight into Patrick Scott’s personal life. They elucidate possibly unseen or unheard aspects of the talented man’s life that are both entertaining and useful source of information with which to better understand him as a person. Patrick Scott was a modernist at heart who enjoyed the commonalities of life like all. 

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