Sinead Brennan, glass artist pictured with her award winning glass designs
An emerging craftsperson from Wexford has scooped a €10,000 RDS Craft Awards Bursary.
The bursaries have been given to a total of five craftspeople for the development of their burgeoning craft and business skills. They were awarded at a lunch in the RDS Members’ Club on Tuesday, May 28.
Róisín de Buitléar chaired a top-class judging panel that awarded the five prizes to Alla Sinkevich (Textiles) originally from Ukraine now living in Dublin, Sinead Brennan (Glass) from Wexford, Edward Coveney (Furniture) from Dublin, Egle Banyte (Jewellery) originally from Lithuania now living in Belfast and Genevieve Howard (Jewellery) from Dublin.
Sined works with glass to create bespoke products and interesting pieces. She says: “My work has evolved through my research of how women’s positions in Western society have been constructed through concepts of female empowerment, objectification and suppression. I have contextualised these ideas with the use of iconography, symbolism and textual materials, each denoting specific male and female societal roles.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity this award has afforded me in helping to grow as an artist. I look forward to using the award to aid my creative projects and artistic development.”
The bursaries were presented following an examination of work and an interview process to give financial support at a critical time in their developing professional career. The funds can be spent on further education and training, research, development of new work, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, technology, their website and residencies.
Michael Duffy RDS Chief Executive said, “We are delighted to be able to contribute to the development and growth in the standards of excellence in the Irish craft sector through enabling these talented people to excel in their careers. The craft sector is an integral way in which the RDS fulfils our mission of contributing to a thriving Ireland, so we look forward to seeing all they achieve in the future, both in creating beautiful pieces but also in developing their businesses.”
A judging panel of five craft and design professionals chaired by Irish artist, Róisín de Buitléar, reviewed the applications and shortlisted nine candidates to interview in the RDS. Physical examples of their work were shown and five winners were selected. In addition to the €10,000 bursary, the 2019 RDS Craft Awards winners are provided with a free stand at Gifted – The Contemporary Craft & Design Fair held in the RDS December 4th-8th 2019.
Róisín de Buitléar Chair of the judging panel said: “The jury was impressed by the awardees clarity of expression, artistic integrity, and very high-quality craftsmanship. Their individual commitment to their craft practice was passionate and professional in approach. The final choice was unanimous, and four of the five awardees are women. The choice reflects cross-cultural influences, national and international applicants and a variety of craft areas.”