A.J. Doherty is composed of an unimaginably large collection of atoms. To understand A.J.’s history, we need to go back around thirteen and three and three-quarter billion years, to the time when hydrogen atoms first appeared. Many of the atoms in A.J.’s body are hydrogen atoms, as he is largely made up of water (H2O). Interestingly however, many other atoms in A.J.’s body are only a few billion years old, having been produced by nuclear fusion in the sun.
The atoms that go to make up A.J. Doherty are in a state of constant change – this may go some way to explaining the protean nature of his art. The atoms that make up his molecules which in turn make up his cells, e. g. skin cells, hair cells, brain cells etc. are constantly being replaced by other atoms and molecules etc. The vast majority of cells in his body are regularly replaced by other cells, which have been made up of different atoms and molecules. Despite all of this change, A.J. Doherty has remained more or less the same person.
A.J.’s earliest atoms, molecules etc. spent their time in Fernagh, near Belfast, after which they were mostly replaced when his family moved to Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. Later, many of his atoms were dispersed across several European countries including Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, and the Greek island of Santorini.
The atoms and molecules etc. that currently comprise A.J. Doherty reside with another unimaginably large collection of atoms, in the U.S.A.