A Man for All Mediums, Eamonn O'Doherty (1939-2011)
This year’s City of Culture sees a homecoming of sorts with a major exhibition of work by the late, Derry born artist Eamonn O'Doherty. Having originally left Derry in 1958 to study architecture in Dublin, O'Doherty always kept his bonds with the city where he grew up. His public work, Emigrants (1990), which was originally situated in Waterloo Place, currently resides on Derry Quay – the site of departure for thousands of emigrants from the North West region. In 1993 Eamonn O'Doherty and Seamus Dunbar were commissioned for the Governor Walker reconstruction.
O’Doherty is best known for his public sculptures, with around thirty large-scale works in Ireland, the U.K., the U.S.A. and Europe. His work is among the best-known of any Irish artist, but as far as name and recognition is concerned, he may also be the least famous. Among his landmark works are the “Crann an Oir” (Tree of Gold) at the Central Bank Plaza in Dublin and the Great Hunger Memorial in Westchester, New York. One of his best known works is the populist but controversial “Anna Livia” monument, which Dubliners quickly rechristened “the floozie in the jacuzzi”. Originally positioned on O’Connell Street it was re-located in 2011 to the Croppy Acre near Heuston Station in Dublin.
In a parallel career, O'Doherty graduated with a degree in Architecture from UCD and was awarded a Visiting Scholarship to Harvard University. He taught at the University of Jordan, was exchange professor at the University of Nebraska and l'École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris and external examiner at the Ecole Supérieure d'Art Graphique, Paris and the Dun Laoghaire School of Art. He was a Senior Lecturer in Architecture in DIT for many years and retired from this position in 2002 to concentrate on artwork.
A Man for all Mediums will feature work selected from over half a century of the artist’s involvement with the Irish arts' scene with particular emphasis on his diversity in style and use of medium and will include sculpture, painting,
print and photography.
For many the highlight of the show may well be the recently restored Armoured Pram for Derry (1991), a slightly larger than life perambulator with the appearance of a First World War tank fashioned from 6mm mild steel.
Curated by John Fitzgerald of Irish Art, Norway, A Man for all Mediums will be held at the newly opened London Street Gallery. The exhibition will run from the 29th of August until the 22nd of September. Professor Ciaran Carson will launch A Man for all Mediums on Saturday the 31st at 7pm and all are welcome to attend.