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New Book Launch at the RHA in association with IAF


The Royal Hibernian Academy in association with the IAF, present the publication of On Seeing Only Totally New Things. The book brings together a number of exhibitions and research material by the artist Gavin Murphy, alongside new texts by James Merrigan, Chris Fite-Wassilak and Dr. Ellen Rowley, with contributions from Catherine Croft and Patrick T. Murphy. It publishes for the first time, research and surviving documentation of the IMCO building (a demolished Modernist factory and the subject of Murphy’s 2012 film Something New Under the Sun), and a first comprehensive and illustrated monograph on that building’s designer Oliver Percy Bernard, with extensive appendices and bibliographic material.

The IMCO building was, during its brief existence, a major landmark on Dublin’s south coast, yet is all but forgotten today. Similarly, the industrial processes that the company carried out, once part of the fabric of everyday life, are entirely undocumented. IMCO were a large firm of dry cleaners who ran a central cleaning and dying plant in Dublin, alongside approximately 50 branches taking delivery of items of clothing from all over the country. A weekly sponsored radio programme, featuring owner Louis Spiro and presented by Eamonn Andrews, made IMCO a household name.The second phase of the building, dating from 1939, incorporated a modernist concrete and glass tower, designed by Oliver P. Bernard. A noted architect, scenic and industrial designer, and a champion of modern engineering techniques and materials, Bernard is credited with being instrumental in developing conservative Victorian British taste in a modernist European direction. His remarkable life included his first–hand experience of the sinking of the liner Luisitania off the coast of Cork in 1915 (for which his published sketches are the only contemporary illustrative account).

The publication was produced in collaboration with design studio Atelier David Smith, and is published by the Royal Hibernian Academy, in association with the Irish Architecture Foundation. It was made possible through the support of The Arts Council.

The publication will be launched on Wednesday 4th September, 5.30pm at Royal Hibernian Academy, by Ruairi Quinn TD, Minister for Education & Skills. The book will be available from the RHA from the 4th September.

Launched by Ruairi Quinn TD, Minister for Education & Skills

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