In the Centre Gallery of Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, County Cork, lay, until recently, behind layers of liner paper and white emulsion, a very well-kept secret: a nine-part series of floor-to-ceiling paintings by the New York–based Irish artist Brian O’Doherty, created under his pseudonym Patrick Ireland. The brightly coloured abstract wall paintings, titled One Here Now: The Ogham Cycle, were completed in 1996 using the system of codes and inherent structures of the ogham language, an early Irish alphabet. After their initial display, the paintings were covered over. For the next twenty-two years they went unseen.
In 2018 Sirius Arts Centre Director Miranda Driscoll organised an ambitious project to uncover and temporarily restore the paintings, with the expertise of the conservator Don Knox. To coincide with this restoration, she also commissioned a year-long programme of artworks, compositions, performances, and talks that would respond to O’Doherty/Ireland’s work. One Here Now: The Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland Project, co-published by Sirius Arts Centre and Paper Visual Art, comprises essays on O’Doherty’s wall murals and on each of the exhibitions and events that took place at Sirius Arts Centre from 2018 to 2019. The contributions in this book re-examine and re-interrogate the wall paintings and reflect on a project intended to preserve the legacy of these important artworks for future generations.
Contributions by Alexander Alberro, Chris Clarke, Miranda Driscoll, Emma Dwyer, Luke Gibbons, Francis Halsall, Sarah Hayden, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Sarah Kelleher, Prem Krishnamurthy, Eoghan MacIntyre, Ian Maleney, Brenda Moore-McCann, Peter Murray, Kirstie North, Brian O’Doherty, Nathan O’Donnell, Jenny Roche, and Mary-Ruth Walsh.
The book was launched at Sirius Arts Centre by Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, in April 2019.