Patrick Scott passed away on Valentines Day 2014 which was the eve of a major retrospective on the artist’s life in Dublin at IMMA and at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow ‘Patrick Scott Image Space Light’ begins on 15th February and will run till mid May. Mermaid Film are proud to announce that my film ‘Patrick Scott – Golden Boy’‘ will screen on a loop at both venues. RTE will screen the film on Thursday March 6th on RTE at 10:55 pm
The making of ‘Patrick Scott – Golden Boy‘.
In 2003, I was invited by the producers Maria Doyle Kennedy and Andrea Pitt to direct a film on the Irish artist Patrick Scott. Patrick was born in Kilbrittain, County Cork in 1921 and is considered today as the Godfather of modern art in Ireland.
I had previously filmed Patrick for an as yet unrealised film that would tell the story of the history of modern art in Ireland. In the interview Patrick recalled the time when he represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1960. Although very proud to represent Ireland, Patrick was treated shoddily by the Department of Foreign Affairs. No government representative showed up at his opening as was customary with all the other nations. To make matters worse he had to pay for his own catalogue and press reviews.
I thought that this interview would never see the light of day so I was delighted when it was used in ‘Golden Boy’. Golden Boy traced Patrick’s early childhood in Cork, his journey into architecture alongside Michael Scott and his eventual decision to become a full time painter in the early 50’s. Patrick’s first recognition as a painter came when he had his first exhibition with the White Stag Group in 1944.
The White Stag Group was composed of mainly pacifist refugee painters fleeing Britain and France during WW2. Patrick honed his craft with the White Stag Group and had his first recognition internationally when he won the Guggenheim award in 1958 and then went on to represent Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1960.
Today Patrick is known mostly for his series of Gold paintings which he embarked on in the 70’s and continues in the same vein today. The film reveals the wide range of styles he underwent before he got the Gold bug!
His Devise paintings were a protest against the nuclear devices that were being tested in the 60’s. His Bog paintings were inspired on his train journeys to John Huston’s home in Galway. Huston later opened an exhibition of Patrick’s work in Dublin.
I began the filmmaking process by interviewing Patrick over a period of three days in his home and studio on Baggot Lane, Dublin. It was just me and Patrick and his cats. I journeyed with him to his family home in Kilbrittain, his school, Saint Columba’s in Rathfarnham and his cottage in the Wicklow Hills. We filmed the poet Seamus Heaney when he visited Pat’s studio. Other contributors include the potter Stephen Pearce and the art critic Bruce Arnold. But it was Patrick himself who took centre stage in our film and over several months he revealed the thought processes behind his work. On the personal side he recalled his life long relationship with his partner the actor Pat McClarnon and the depths of despair he underwent when Pat passed away. In the end it was Art and Zen Buddhism that kept Patrick on track and though now in his nineties his indomitable spirit still shines and inspires. ‘Golden Boy’ is one of the most enjoyable experiences I had had as a documentary filmmaker. The film was screened on RTE and had many successful festival screenings.
Produced by Maria Doyle Kennedy & Andrea Pitt
Directed by Sé Merry Doyle
Music by Kieran Kennedy