After just completing my first week of a six month residency at Laois Arthouse in Stradbally, County Laois; it was hard not to be distracted by the excitement and anticipation of the music festival, Electric Picnic which surrounded the village last week. But despite that, I managed to settle in and set up shop for the months ahead.
I have the rare opportunity to explore, a previously unseen Patrick Scott collection which was bequeathed to The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL) . The collection consists of Scott’s studio books and diaries, professional and personal correspondence and even some maquettes from theatre productions sets that he had designed. The next six months will be the initial stages of archiving this acquisition, in the Edward Murphy Library at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, where I work; while simultaneously making work at the Arthouse in response to my findings within this collection, which will be predominantly through painting and sound.
Included in the acquisition, is a box labelled ‘Studio Books,’ and it was there that I found a book by Henry Miller, published in 1947 called ‘The Wisdom of the Heart’ (the title alone caught me without any hesitation).This book is a combination of essays written articulately and non apologetically about creativity, culture and ultimately, the human condition. Essay titles include ‘Creative Death’, ‘The Enormous Womb’ and ‘The Cosmological Eye‘ to name but a few. So far i’m enthralled, and this book from Scott’s own studio practice has already charged the beginning of a six-month artistic endeavor at the Arthouse. With gratitude to Pat.
* Miller, Henry. (1947) The Wisdom of the Heart, London: Editions Poetry London