Patrick Scott: The golden boy of Irish art

Patrick Scott, who died aged 93 on Friday. Picture: Maurice O'Mahony
Patrick Scott, who died aged 93 on Friday. Picture: Maurice O'Mahony

The achievements of the West Cork artist Patrick Scott were celebrated on Saturday at the launch of the retrospective exhibition, Image Space Light, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in Dublin.

Scott died on Friday morning, aged 93. At his family’s request, the launch went ahead as planned.

Image Space Light is a joint venture, between IMMA and VISUAL Carlow, where a second exhibition opened on Tuesday.

That exhibition features a new work by Scott’s friend, artist Corban Walker.

At IMMA, Walker spoke of Scott’s encouragement of his career. The two shared an interest in architecture.

Walker recalled how Scott, a close neighbour in Dublin, was a frequent visitor to his family’s home. “He’d pull up outside in his Renault 4, in jeans and striped socks, and he was always a jovial presence in the house.”

Walker recalled attending parties at Scott’s second home, in Co Wicklow. They were always lively affairs. “They say the Zulus dance from their shoulders down. Well, Pat danced from his eyebrows down,” he said.

Scott’s partner, Eric Pearce, spoke of being devastated by Scott’s passing, but said how appropriate it was that he had died on Valentine’s Day, with a full moon in the sky: the artist was famous for his gold-disc paintings.

Pearce spoke of Scott in the present tense. “Pat Scott is a rascal,” he said.

He recalled how Scott had once attended a party in the late art collector, Basil Goulding’s summer home in Co Wicklow. Those in attendance had to cross a narrow stream.

When the fashion designer, Sybil Connolly, fell in, Scott, an agnostic, was heard to quip, “There must be a God after all.”

Scott’s sense of humour stayed with him to the end. One of his last commissions was for the Mater Hospital, in Dublin: two tapestries he struggled to name. “We talked about it one day,” said Pearce, “and the names Pat settled on were ‘What’s The?’ and ‘It Doesn’t’. Life with Pat was like that, full of laughter.”

Scott was waked by his family and friends at his home on Baggot Lane, in Dublin, on Friday.

There was no funeral service, as the artist had donated his remains to the Royal College of Surgeons.

Patrick Scott: Image Space Light continues at IMMA and VISUAL Carlow until May

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