Robert Ballagh 'Three People with a Jackson Pollock', 1973, acrylic on canvas
Location: removed for conservation treatment
Former location: The Lecky Library entrance hall, Trinity College Dublin
Photographer Patrick Brocklebank recalls his experience of using the 'new' Arts Building and the contemporary artworks installed there as a backdrop for a photo-shoot for the emerging band U2 in 1979. (one of the photographs is reproduced below)
"In February 1979, Bono asked me to do a photo session with his band U2. So we arranged to meet in the Arts Building in Trinity College, Dublin, on the Saturday morning of 10th February of that year. When we met in the foyer - there was no sign of the drummer Larry Mullen. Bono told me ‘Larry is not here so we asked Guggi.’ Guggi a.k.a. Guggi was a key member of U2’s sister band The Virgin Prunes. They were from the same area of North Dublin as U2.That afternoon one of U2’s rivals, a band called The Vipers were due to play there farewell show at McGonagle’s Night Club, located off Grafton Street. At that event Larry Mullen approached me and said ‘I hear you did a photo session this morning - well nobody told me’. U2 were full of ideas and were not afraid to experiment. They were easy to work with. This was distinguishing fact from some of their rivals. That is how I took these photographs, with Ballagh’s painting in the background. The Arts Building at Trinity, was at that time newly completed, it had a modern futuristic aspect. Bono & Co, presumably chose it for that reason. Its collection of contemporary art was also a factor. It also was well known to the U2 people and their friends, as The Edge a.k.a. Dave Evans brother Richard had a small apartment in Trinity. ... Richard was originally in U2, however, he left in March 1978 to form the Virgin Prunes with Guggi and Gavin Friday."
Patrick Brocklebank's 1979 photograph of Bono and Guggi in front of Robert Ballagh's 'Three People with a Jackson Pollock'