Patrick Scott was born in Kilbrittain in West Cork, in 1921. He studied in St Columba’s College and Architecture at UCD. Scott was resolved on leaving full-time architectural work for a number of years before he finally managed to do so in 1960. He is a great creative force whose interests range from theatre set designing, industrial design, architecture and tapestry-making to his prime interest, painting.
Patrick Scott produces tapestries and carpets but he is best known for his gold paintings, abstracts incorporating geometrical forms in gold leaf against a pale tempura background. The squares of gold imply a uniform right-angled grid, extending indefinitely in all directions, and from the beginning of the gold paintings Scott makes symmetrical compositions, not exclusively but often. Symmetry reinforces the idea of the indefinite, modular extension of identical units. Gold paintings do not aspire to be representations of the visual world; they are simply themselves, points of arrival rather than departure.
“With the help of the British Museum in 1964, he [Scott] evolved a method of using an acrylic medium to fix gold leaf to unprimed canvas, which has led him into an unprecedented wealth of visual invention. Using 8cm squares of gold leaf applied to raw canvas, with a thin white tempera the only other colour, he produced a series of large abstract works in which the three textures of gold, canvas and tempera are exquisitely balanced to a synthesis of each element. The geometric abstraction of the circle and its segments, combined with rectilinear interlaced bands of white, not only returns to his pure architectural composition but also relates directly to ancient Irish gold objects of the pre-Celtic era”. (Dorothy Walker, Patrick Scott, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD, 1981, p.26).