President of Ireland Mary McAleese presided at a ceremony this afternoon, Wednesday 11 July 2007, to mark the election of the artist Patrick Scott as Saoi in Aosdána. Mr. Scott was a founder member of Aosdána – the affiliation of creative artists. Aosdána acknowledges its members’ achievements through an award of honour known as Saoi. This afternoon, the President presented Patrick Scott with a gold Torc, which is the symbol of the office of Saoi. The ceremony took place at 3:00pm at the office of the Arts Council at 70 Merrion Square, Dublin 2 which is also the headquarters of Aosdána.
Membership of Aosdána, which is by peer nomination and election, honours artists engaged in architecture, choreography, music, literature and the visual arts, who have produced a distinguished body of work. Aosdána was originally established in 1981 by the Arts Council to honour artists who have made an outstanding contribution to the arts in Ireland. Currently there are 228 members in Aosdána.
Members of Aosdána may receive this honour of distinction in the arts, known as Saoi, and not more than five artists may hold this honour at any one time. It is the members of Aosdána who nominate and elect a Saoi. The Saoithe are Louis Le Brocquy, Seamus Heaney, Anthony Cronin and Brian Friel. Previous Saoithe include Samuel Beckett, Sean Ó Faoláin, Patrick Collins, Mary Lavin, Francis Stewart, Tony O'Malley and Benedict Kiely.
Many Aosdána members and colleagues of Patrick Scott were present at today’s ceremony including Robert Ballagh, Louis le Brocquy, Anthony Cronin, Seamus Heaney and Anne Madden. Also present were the Chair of the Arts Council, Olive Braiden and other Council members, Arts Council Director, Mary Cloake and acting Registrar of Aosdána, Stephanie O’Callaghan.
Biography of Patrick Scott
Born in Kilbrittain, Co. Cork in 1921. Qualified as an architect, he worked on the development of Busaras in Dublin, including that building's mosaics. He has painted full-time since 1960, and represented Ireland in the XXX Biennale in Venice that year. His works have been exhibited worldwide and are in many public and private collections, including the Hugh Lane Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Dublin; Gulf Oil Corporation, Pittsburg; Ulster Museum, Belfast; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art. He has had many tapestry commissions, from among others, the Bank of Ireland; the European Parliament, Strasbourg; and St. Paul's School, London.
Solo exhibitions include the White Stag Gallery, Dublin (1944); Dawson Gallery, Dublin (1961-77); Hamilton Galleries, Dublin (1980, ‘84, ‘86); Annely Juda Fine Art, London (1980); Butler Gallery, Kilkenny Castle (1980); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (1981); Stirling Gallery, Scotland (1982); Parnham House, Dorset (1984); B.P. Gallery, Brussels (1990); Taylor Galleries, Dublin (1991); Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin (2002).