Mayo artist receives Arts Council Next Generation Award
Mayo artist Saoirse Wall has been awarded a prestigious Next Generation Award by the Arts Council, the government agency for funding and developing the arts.
The award means Saoirse, a visual artist, will receive €20,000 - in effect to buy time to develop her practice.
Saoirse is just one of 23 artists from all over the country who has been selected for the award.
Artists will also take part in a collective week-long residential programme in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan, in early 2021. They will have the opportunity to engage with mentors and other supports to help shape their work into the future while there.
The Next Generation programme recognises and promotes a selection of artists from different disciplines, such as traditional arts, music, dance, film, theatre and literature.
Following the announcement of the award, Saoirse said: “I'm very grateful to receive this award, which will allow for a period of experimentation and research over the next year while developing a new body of work.”
Saoirse works with moving-image and performance to articulate experiences that lack representation in social narratives of gender, health, and the body. Scale, immersive sound, and suggestive gestures are manipulated to disrupt and discomfort.
Arts Council director Maureen Kennelly said the agency had received a large number of applications for the award this year, and that the standard had been particularly high.
“All of the artists have demonstrated an exceptional ambition and vision for their work, and the Arts Council is delighted to support them,” she stated. “I look forward to following them in their work over the coming years.”
Previous recipients of the Next Generation Award have included Donegal poet Annemarie Ní Churreáin, Kerry musician and composer Alma Kelliher, and traditional musician Liam Scanlon.
*Pictured above, Maureen Kennelly, director of the Arts Council, the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, and Kevin Rafter, chair of the Arts Council, along with head shots of the 23 artists from around the country who have been awarded a Next Generation Award – including Mayo's Saoirse Wall. Photo: Maxwells