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West Wing

Room 20a

Room 1 of 16

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William Scott has created an unmistakable visual language of abstracted forms, shapes and motifs. His first-hand experiences of American Abstract Expressionism were deeply influential, not least because of the large scale of the works he saw. The focus on a select number of motifs allowed Scott to develop a carefully structured pictorial language in which abstract qualities competed with the representational subject. Scott made frequent trips to Cornwall and became good friends with many artists of the St Ives School, particularly Patrick Heron, who is represented in Room 21.
Photographer Bill Doyle revisited an area which became the inspiration for Robert J. Flaherty’s film Man of Aran (1934), John Millington Synge’s literary and indeed photographic records, and James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), in which the islands are described as the ‘latter end of the world’. Doyle illustrates a traditional scene of reverence on Inis Oírr, the easternmost of the three Aran Islands. Always positioned behind the mourners, Doyle’s images are both distant yet let the viewer become part of this intimate scene.