Marcel Vidal, 2019 Golden Fleece Award
Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
The Trustees of the Golden Fleece Award were delighted to present each of the four applicants shortlisted for the 2019 Award with a share in the €30,000 prize fund. Two Special Awards of €3,000 each were given to photographer Dragana Jurišić and ceramicist Sara Flynn, while painter Marcel Vidal and sculptor Nuala O’Donovan both received a Golden Fleece Award worth €12,000.
Speaking at the ceremony in the Tony Ryan Gallery at the RHA, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, Barbara Cotter, thanked those in attendance – the Trustees, members of the Mitchell family, shortlisted artists and friends of the Award – particularly noting the members of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel for their work in providing recommendations on the applications received for the Award. This year saw them consider 170 submissions, many of which, across both the Visual Art and Craft & Applied Art categories, were of an extremely high quality.
Cecilia Moore, silversmith and recipient of a Golden Fleece Award 2018, gave a short illustrated presentation outlining how receiving a €10,000 Golden Fleece Award had contributed to the development of her practice over the past twelve months, during which she honed her “raising” technique, participated in a number of exhibitions and undertook various research trips.
Chair of the Advisory Panel, Patrick T. Murphy, spoke about the importance of the Golden Fleece Award as an independent artistic award. He emphasised how investing in artists, as Lillias Mitchell wished to do, is an act of confidence, and how the Award goes some way towards addressing the great crisis of artists today – securing suitable and safe spaces in which they can work – and freeing them from other commitments. Following an overview of the shortlistees’ work he then invited Lillias’ niece, Susan Mitchell, to present Marcel, Nuala, Sara and Dragana with their Award and Special Award certificates and cheques.
IMAGE: Cordyline, 2018, oil on linen, 90 x 70 cm