The President and Members of the Academy are deeply saddened to announce that Michael Cullen RHA passed away peacefully, Saturday 11 July, 2020. Read further here: https://www.taylorgalleries.ie/
Monday 15 June – LAST DAY to DONATE to the REALLY HELPING ARTISTS CAMPAIGN
APPLICATIONS OPEN TO ARTISTS from 16 JUNE
The Really Helping Artists campaign has been an unparalleled success. Over the last four weeks we have had over 310 donors contribute over €43,000 to the fund.Those donations added to the additional two €10,000 contributions from the RHA Hennessy Craig bequest and our matching donor, bring the total available to artists to over €63,000!
We would like to thank all of you for this amazing show of support for Irish artists!
The campaign will close to donations at midnight tonight, Monday 15th of June. From Tuesday 16th June we will begin to receive applications from artists in need. If you or someone you know would like to apply for emergency funding please see here for further details: http://www.rhagallery.ie/events/really-helping-artists-rha-micro-grants-for-artists/
There are just a few hours left to donate, so if you haven’t done so already today is the last day. Let’s show Irish artists just how much they mean to us! Donate today: www.gofundme.com/f/really-helping-artists
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to, liked, and shared this campaign. It has been so heartening to see how engaged the Irish public are with the issues facing artists during this global pandemic. On behalf of everyone at the RHA, please know your support is greatly appreciated.
RHA Gallery Reopening
We will be implementing all of the HSE/NSAI required protocols for the safety and comfort of all our visitors and staff when the RHA Gallery reopens with the 190th Annual Exhibition from 13 October. We are really looking forward to welcoming you back and your safety is our highest priority.
Online booking will be available here 2 weeks prior to the opening date.
We will ask that before booking your visit, you please read and answer the following questions:
- Have you been in contact with anyone with Coronavirus/Covid-19 in the last two weeks?
- Are you, or any close contacts, waiting for the result of a Coronavirus/Covid-19 test?
- Are you suffering from any flu like symptoms of Coronavirus/Covid-19?
- Are you experiencing any difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath?
- Are you experiencing any fever like/temperature symptoms?
- Are you experiencing any loss of smell/taste?
If you answer YES to ANY questions, please defer your visit to another time.
If it is safe for you to visit, online booking will be available here and walk-ins always welcome (numbers allowing).
New measures to ensure the safety of visitors and staff include:
- Restricted visitor numbers.
- Online booking system.
- Health check questionnaire prior to booking.
- Groups limited to four.
- Hand sanitizing stations throughout the building.
- Hourly sanitizing of touch points and toilets.
- Directional signage.
- Gallery safety monitors.
The RHA Gallery will reopen showing:
RHA 190th Annual Exhibition
Attendance will be limited to 40 individuals per hour (groups of no more than four) and you will be requested to book your time and free visit on Eventbrite – available here from 29 September, 2 weeks prior to opening.
For those who would prefer to stay at home, you can follow the RHA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and receive our weekly e-bulletin (by joining our mailing list on this website) to receive exhibition information, updates and news of all our virtual events.
Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to expand further on the safety measures that the RHA will be taking to ensure your safety, when visiting the RHA. We look forward to welcoming you.
#ReallyHelpingArtists is a new fund to make small, easily accessible grants to alleviate some of the financial distress artists are experiencing, during the current pandemic. As an artists’ organization, the RHA is acutely aware of the difficulties that visual artists are experiencing in the current crisis. Opportunities for earning income from sales, teaching or casual employment have all but gone. Artists, who we as a society hold dear, need our help and this fund, while it will not replace an income, may lift a worry or anxiety about a bill, a rent payment, the cost of materials, even a grocery shop.
The RHA has sought permission to apply funds from a designated bequest to creating a micro-grant initiative for artists in need. This permission has been granted with a pledge of €10,000 to create one third of the fund! We are now challenging the people of Ireland to help us raise the further €20,000 through donations, of any amount. All donations welcome and gratefully received.
Our window to raise €20,000 for the fund is just 1 month, from 15th May to 15th June, 2020.
These crucial gifts will then be distributed to artists between 1st July and 31st August, 2020.
In this particular crisis we have seen Ireland’s art community providing new daily content for enjoyment, education and mental well-being. We would like to honour artist’s unfailing contribution to the betterment of society, in good times and bad by ensuring there is a simple way for them to apply for emergency cash if needed. We know that there are hundreds of artists who are falling through the gaps, and who will not get through this crisis without urgent and immediate cash support.
How to Apply and Terms & Conditions:
The aim of Really Helping Artists, RHA Mirco Grants is to provide cash to artists in a simple and quick way to alleviate some of the pressure experienced in the current crisis.
To apply for a Really Helping Artists Micro Grant please send an email (no longer than 150 words) to email@example.com stating:
- Full name
- Medium of practice
- Your financial request
- Reason for your application
- Proof of professional status (as outlined below)
Please read the information below prior to sending in your request.
Who may Apply
Really Helping Artists, RHA Micro Grants are designed to give emergency financial support to professional visual artists living and working in Ireland. You may apply for support if you are aged 18 or older, have graduated from an accredited art school, are currently living in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland and are a professional artist.
A professional artist is defined as anyone who makes a wage from their art and can provide confirmation of this. Confirmation can include proof of membership to a recognised representative body for visual artists (i.e. VAI or similar), confirmation of having exhibited work for sale at a recognised gallery, arts centre or institution in Ireland, and/or in the RHA Annual Exhibition in the last 24 months.
Letters of application, sent via email, will be accepted from 16th – 30th June, 2020 ONLY.
Applications received before the 16th of June 2020 or after the 30th June 2020 will not be accepted or reviewed.
Micro-grants will be considered for requests of between €100 – €1,000.
A small committee of RHA Members and staff will review all letters of application, in complete confidence and make decisions to award grants based solely an applicant’s need. All decisions are final and there will be no appeal process.
All funds raised will be distributed by 31st August 2020. If your request is approved you will be notified before this date. Unfortunately, due to limitations on our capacity we will not be able to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
We look forward to helping you, during this time.
Candles for Janet Mullarney RHA | 9th April 2020
Janet Mullarney RHA | 1952 – 2020
Dear Fellow RHA Members & Friends,
You have already heard of the sad news of Janet Mullarney’s passing and although we were all expecting it, it is nevertheless a shock. Janet had been living and working with this terrible illness for so long, that we had almost come to believe she would keep going for another while yet. I’m glad that her old friends Mary and Claudio were with her in her home in Tuscany these last weeks, and glad to know that she passed peacefully in the end.
Janet was an original – stylish, vibrant, eccentric, full of life, and generally a breath of fresh air, and a true artist. She went to Italy at a very young age, and never really had a formal art education. Maybe because of that, her work has always had an extraordinary freshness and originality. She always seemed to me completely fearless, and that fearlessness carried into her sculpture, her drawings and her approach to materials and ideas. I had the pleasure of hanging her series of heads in the recent RHA Collection show, and was struck afresh by the lovely spontaneity of the carving of the wood and the playful markings on the heads that translated into visual poetry.
She had a deep love of Italy that permeated her life and her work. But she loved Ireland too, and spent so much time here that she was completely a part of our lives and the Irish art scene. We will miss her great style, her wonderful scarves and earrings and outfits, but above all her enormous warmth and delightful company.
May she rest in peace, she will be sorely missed.
Eithne Jordan RHA, Keeper
It is with great sadness that we, the RHA, announce that our much loved colleague Janet Mullarney passed away this morning in her home in Italy. Her close friend Mary Ryder was with her and commented:
“She was very calm and at peace with herself and those around her. She had a very tough time over the last few months and despite all her usual stubborn, single-minded, driving force (her words), she became too ill to carry on.”
We hope to facilitate a memorial service for Janet at the RHA in the autumn.
Rest in Peace.
The Royal Hibernian Academy is delighted to announce the election of Aideen Barry as an Associate Member of the Academy. Aideen Barry was elected at the RHA Assembly meeting held on Tuesday, 11th February.
Aideen Barry is a practicing Visual Artist based in Ireland but with international representation. In 2020 she was elected to the Royal HIibernian Academy as an ARHA member. She is also a member of Aosdána and Lectures in several universities and schools of visual art. In 2020 she will be speaker part of the Anderson Lecture Series at Penn State University and will be making a new work under the Bunting Commission for the Irish Traditional Music Archive and Music Network Ireland.
Selected projects include exhibitions at: Elephant West, UK, Mothers Tankstation, The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Oaxaca, Mexico, Louise T. Bloudin, London, Moderne Mussett Sweden, The Loop Biennale, ESP, Matucana 100, Chile, FRIEZE Art Fair, UK, The Wexner Centre Ohio, The Royal Hibernian Academy, the Museum des Beux Arts, FR, The Crawford Municipal Gallery, The Butler Gallery, The Banff Centre Canada, the Headlands Centre for the Arts San Francisco, Liste Art Fair Basel Switzerland, BAC Geneva, Arco Art Fair, ESP, CH ACO, Chile and Catherine Clark Gallery, US. Barry has received numerous awards for her practice including recent awards: A Culture Ireland Award 2018, The Vermont Studio Centre Fellowship Award 2017, Project New Work Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, Arts Council of Ireland Bursary Awards, Modern Ireland in 100 Art Works 2015 award from the Royal Irish Academy, the Silent Light Film Award at the Cork Film Festival, Travel and Training Awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, in 2010 was shortlisted for the prestigious AIB Prize.
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain announced as winner of the 2020 Golden Fleece Award, Annemarie Reinhold and Kathy Tynan receive Golden Fleece Special Awards.
Our friends, the Trustees of the Golden Fleece Award are very pleased to announce that Cork-based multimedia artist Ailbhe Ní Bhriain is the winner of the 2020 Golden Fleece Award. She receives the main award, worth €15,000. Two Golden Fleece Special Awards are being presented to jeweller / silversmith Annemarie Reinhold (€10,000) and painter Kathy Tynan (€5,000). Visual artist Laura Fitzgerald and jeweller/engraver Pierce Healy were also shortlisted for the 2020 Award.
The 2020 Golden Fleece Award was to be presented at a ceremony at the RHA, on 25 March 2020, but due to the current circumstances the announcement was made online.
Now in its nineteenth year, the Golden Fleece Award was initially restricted to craft and figurative visual art. In 2018 the criteria were broadened to include artists working across all forms of visual, craft and applied arts. This year’s prize fund of €30,000 makes the Golden Fleece Award the most generous art prize open to both visual artists and craft practitioners/makers in Ireland.
The Golden Fleece Award has established itself as one of the most central and supportive awards for artists and craftspeople at a pivotal moment of their careers. The standard of applications is outstanding and a tribute to the professionalism within the creative community. I would urge all that applied but were not shortlisted this year to continue to apply in the future. As I conclude my term as Chair of the Advisory Panel I want to express my thanks to my fellow panelists for their hard work and dedication and thank the Trustees for affording me the privilege to be involved with the Award. – Patrick T. Murphy, Golden Fleece Advisory Panel Chair and Director, RHA
Image: Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Untitled (the sublime and the good), 2019, Pigment print on hand-coated cotton, 65 x 39.5 cm, Image courtesy of the artist.
RHA Staff suggest web pages, links, podcasts and activities of interest.
Updated 20 July:
Ruth Carroll, RHA Curator suggests:
Create your own office environment from home https://imisstheoffice.eu
Rebecca Gale, Marketing suggests:
Void – and artist Alan Phelan – are looking for your help!
The RGB Hyacinth Bucket Challenge Sculpture COVID19 Memorial is a crowd-sourced sculpture made by individual participants in isolation; then assembled together to create the final artwork. Materials are available from today, Mon 20th July. Read more here: https://mailchi.mp/derryvoid/void-and-artist-alan-phelan-are-looking-for-your-help
Michelle Considine, RHA Friends suggests:
Literary Friction is a conversation about books and ideas, hosted by friends Carrie and Octavia. Each month they interview an author about their book and build the show around a related theme – anything from resistance to coastlines to corpses. Listen in for lively discussion, book recommendations and a little music too. https://www.nts.live/shows/literaryfriction
Hyperallergic is a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today. https://hyperallergic.com/
Vanessa Moss, RHA Development suggests:
I’m so excited about the Gallery opening this week that my suggestion to everyone is get out there and support your local Gallery! Dublin suggestions are: Book a free ticket to visit the RHA: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/rha-gallery-admission-tickets-113466535462 for a final chance to view Joseph Heffernan, Neil Carroll, Alan Phelan and selections from the RHA Collection.
And while you’re out and about why not visit the Richard Gorman exhibition at the Kerlin Gallery: https://www.kerlingallery.com/exhibitions/richard-gorman_10 or Moment in Time: A Legacy of Photographs at the National Gallery of Ireland: https://www.nationalgallery.ie/art-and-artists/exhibitions/moment-time-legacy-photographs-works-bank-america-collection
Kate McBride, Academy Co-Ordinator suggests:
Listen | Endless Thread: This podcast delves into Reddit’s vast communities to explore some of the most compelling stories the Internet has to offer.
Visit | Dublin City Council will begin the four weekend trial pedestrianisation of several streets near Grafton Street including South William Street, Anne Street South and Drury Street this weekend, 11am to 7pm. Enjoy!
Image: Some (but not all!) RHA staff.
We, at the RHA, hope you are all getting through these strange and unpredictable times as best you can and that you are safe and secure. As an organisation we are not sure what these times will bring but what we do know is, for the time being, we have plans to expand on our virtual interaction with you, our supportive online community, through different gallery resources, with virtual gallery tours, highlights of current and past exhibitions and availability of educational assets which we will keep you up to date on, in the near future.
Over the coming weeks, we will also keep you up to date with the progress of the 190th Annual Exhibition. The first round of reviewing the record breaking number of 4200 artworks, submitted digitally, took place over five days last week. The adjudication panel chose 700+ works that will be physically brought to the RHA for the next round of selection and that round, in the present crisis, is yet to be scheduled. Our staff are working remotely from home, with one person manning the phones in the gallery each day. If you have any queries you can call us Monday to Friday, 10 – 5pm on 01- 661 2558, or email firstname.lastname@example.org , we would be happy to hear from you.
We are dedicated to continuing our support of artists through the Studio Programme (the 8 individual studios are still operating) and through payment of artwork production funds to artists for upcoming exhibitions and associated fees. The Arts Council has informed all organisations that we can access 90% of our grant over the coming few months which will go some of the way to address these needs and our other standing costs. But we, as with the rest of the country, will struggle to make ends meet.
We look forward to the exciting opportunities that keeping in touch, with you, virtually will bring and to engaging with you in innovative ways that will keep art alive in your home and hopefully entertain your day in an alternative way while we are all in this shutdown together.
From myself, and all the staff of the RHA we hope you and your loved ones stay safe and healthy. As a society, working together, we can get through this unprecedented challenge.
All the best,
Patrick T. Murphy
Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara Receive the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize
Chicago, IL (March 3, 2020) – Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Dublin, Ireland, have been selected as the 2020 Pritzker Prize Laureates, announced Tom Pritzker, Chairman of The Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the award that is known internationally as architecture’s highest honor.
“Architecture could be described as one of the most complex and important cultural activities on the planet,” remarks Farrell. “To be an architect is an enormous privilege. To win this prize is a wonderful endorsement of our belief in architecture. Thank you for this great honor.
”As architects and educators since the 1970s, Farrell and McNamara create spaces that are at once respectful and new, honoring history while demonstrating a mastery of the urban environment and craft of construction. Balancing strength and delicacy, and upholding a reverence of site-specific contexts, their academic, civic and cultural institutions, as well as housing developments, result in modern and impactful works that never repeat or imitate, but are decidedly of their own architectural voice.
“For their integrity in their approach to both their buildings, as well as the way they conduct their practice, their belief in collaboration, their generosity towards their colleagues, especially as evidenced in such events as the 2018 Venice Biennale, their unceasing commitment to excellence in architecture, their responsible attitude toward the environment, their ability to be cosmopolitan while embracing the uniqueness of each place in which they work, for all these reasons and more, Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara are awarded the 2020 Pritzker Architecture Prize,” states the 2020 Jury Citation, in part.
“Within the ethos of a practice such as ours, we have so often struggled to find space for the implementation of such values as humanism, craft, generosity, and cultural connection with each place and context within which we work. It is therefore extremely gratifying that this recognition is bestowed upon us and our practice and upon the body of work we have managed to produce over a long number of years,” says McNamara. “It is also a wonderful recognition of the ambition and vision of the clients who commissioned us and enabled us to bring our buildings to fruition.
”Their native Ireland, an island replete with mountains and cliffs, informs their acute sensitivities to geography, changing climates and nature in each of their sites. Their buildings consistently remain purposefully rich, yet modest, enhancing cities and lending to sustainability while responding to local needs. University Campus UTEC Lima (Lima, Peru 2015) is located on a challenging site with a highway sunk in a ravine on one side and a residential neighborhood on the other. The result is a vertical and cascading building responding to both site and climatic needs. Its open spaces were designed to deliberately welcome cooling breezes of the ocean and minimize the need for air-conditioning. At the Offices for the Department of Finance (Dublin, Ireland 2009), the selection of local limestone used in thick panels grants strength to the building. Windows recessed or flush with the façade have grills below them to circulate fresh air throughout the building. Exposures on all sides of the building, atypical of the architecture in this city, offer panoramic views. The architects are continuously conscious of the dialogue between the internal and external, evidenced by the mingling of public and private spaces, and the meaningful selection and integrity of materials. “What we try to do in our work is to be aware of the various levels of citizenship and try to find an architecture that deals with overlap, that heightens your relationship to one another,” illustrates Farrell. Universita Luigi Bocconi (Milan, Italy 2008) fosters community between its occupants and the vibrant city that extends well beyond the vertical campus through its ground floor public space, which continues indoors, and its floating canopy that overlaps the ground below, engaging passersby with students. Université Toulouse 1 Capitole, School of Economics (Toulouse, France 2019) features brick buttresses, ramps and courtyards, which are metaphors for the city filled with bridges, walls, promenades and stone towers. North King Street Housing (Dublin, Ireland 2000) is intentionally void of external design elements to resonate with the restraint of the neighboring warehouses.
“The collaboration between Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara represents a veritable interconnectedness between equal counterparts,” states Pritzker. “They demonstrate incredible strength in their architecture, show deep relation to the local situation in all regards, establish different responses to each commission while maintaining the honesty of their work, and exceed the requirements of the field through responsibility and community.”
Farrell and McNamara have mastered proportion to maintain a human scale and achieve intimate environments within tall and vast buildings. “They have tried, with considerable success, to help us all overcome what is likely to evermore become a serious human problem,” explains Justice Stephen Breyer, Jury Chair. “Namely, how do we build housing and workplaces in a world with over half of its population dwelling in urban environments, and many of them who cannot afford luxury?” A contoured theater floor at the Solstice Arts Centre (Navan, Ireland 2007) creates a physical nearness between audience members and performers. The generous placement of open spaces, windows, glass curtain walls and exposed ceilings allows natural light to filter through a passage of rooms, creating impressions of light through large and small spaces, and within the interlocking areas that compose Institut Mines Télécom in Palaiseau (Paris, France 2019).
McNamara states, “Architecture is a framework for human life. It anchors us and connects us to the world in a way which possibly no other space-making discipline can. ” Farrell continues, “At the core of our practice is a real belief that architecture matters. It is a cultural spatial phenomenon that people invent.”
The pair established Grafton Architects in 1978 in Dublin, where they continue to practice and reside. In just over forty years, they have completed nearly as many projects, located in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Peru.
Farrell and McNamara are the 47th and 48th Laureates of the Pritzker Prize, and the first two recipients from Ireland.
About the Pritzker Architecture Prize
The Pritzker Architecture Prize was founded in 1979 by the late Jay A . Pritzker and his wife, Cindy. Its purpose is to honor annually a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.
The President and Members of the Academy are deeply saddened to announce that Veronica Bolay RHA passed away peacefully, today January 3, 2020.
Abigail O’Brien, President of the RHA, was delighted to announce artist, Marcel Vidal as the recipient of The Hennessy Craig Award 2019 at the RHA Gallery on the evening of the 9th October, 2019.
This generous prize, the largest painting prize in Ireland, awards €20,000 to a painter under the age of 35, who has exhibited in the open submission section of the RHA Annual exhibition and who has studied at a recognised art college in Ireland, as per the terms of the bequest of the estate of Patrick Hennessy and Henry Robertson Craig.
Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director comments, “The Hennessy Craig Award is an artist prize given by artists (Patrick Hennessy and Henry Roberstson Craig) to artists as they truly understood the freedom that such a significant prize could offer an artist and they left the bequest to the Academy to insure that this would perpetuate into the future.”
The adjudicating panel viewed works by 10 shortlisted artists including: Gerry Davies, Stephanie Deady, Leah Hewson, Eve O’Callaghan, Megan Burns, Salvatore of Lucan, William O’Neill, Kurt Oppermann and Kathy Tynan, which are currently on exhibit at the RHA gallery.
Each artist was invited to exhibit up to four new works and although considerate of the work submitted, the award was made based on the overall practice of the artist. This exhibition offers an unparalleled opportunity to view and for the discernible collector a chance to purchase, the very best work by some of Ireland’s most exciting young painters working today.
Showing at the RHA until Sunday 20th October.
For more information on the artist, see: www.marcelvidal.net
Joy Gerrard ARHA Newly Elected Associate Member
Joy Gerrard was elected an Associate Member of the RHA at the Assembly meeting held 9 July 2019.
Joy Gerrard lives and works in Belfast, and graduated with an MA and MPhil from the Royal College of Art, London. Gerrard is known for multimedia work that investigates different systems of relations between crowds, architecture and the built environment. Her studio practice investigates protest crowds and occupation of urban spaces, archiving media images from the Brexit and Trump Resistance, Occupy movement, Arab Risings and many more. Exploring the historical and iconographic qualities of these images, her work (re)presents them in detailed pen and ink drawings, and more recently large ink works on canvas.
Recent solo exhibitions include shot crowd at the Royal Hibernian Academy, 2017 and Protest Crowd, Peer UK, London, 2015. Selected group exhibitions include: Protest and Remembrance, Alan Cristea Gallery, London, 2019 and In a Dream You Saw A Way To Survive and You Were Full of Joy; Hayward Gallery Touring show, 2016. She has installed multiple public installations since 2004 including major works in the London School of Economics, Elenchus/ Aporia, 2009 and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, Assemble/Move/Map, 2012.
We are delighted to announce that with Avolon, the RHA was awarded the Best Long Term Partnership Award at the Allianz Business to Arts Award on Tuesday 3 September for the Avolon Global Studio Award.
The RHA have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Avolon, over the last 3 years collaborating on both the Avolon Global Studio Award and Avolon Youthreach Programme. Created in 2016, each year, the RHA made an open call to a geographic region suited to Avolons marketing priorities and artist were invited to apply for a fully funded 3/6 month residency at the RHA Studios.
Selected by an independent committee, the chosen artists were as follows:
“One of Avolon’s core values is bravery and we see art as the epitome of bravery. In Avolon, we feel a responsibility to support and enable artists. We encourage our team to push the boundaries; we must encourage artists to do the same. And they must do so freed from constraint, both artistic and financial. The Avolon Global Studio Award is relevant to our international business and is bringing greater diversity to the arts community in Ireland.” Avolon Spokesperson.
We the RHA, were delighted to receive this award and wish to convey our thanks to Avolon for their invaluable support which allowed us to be ambitious for this project and the artists it supported.
Allianz Business to Arts Awards, more info HERE
Image, l-r: Damien O Neill, Marketing Manager, Allianz, Allan Dawson, Facilities Project Manager, Avolon, Tom Rushe, Chief Operating Officer, Avolon, Jane Dundon, Branding Executive, Avolon, Rebecca Gale, RHA Marketing, Emmet Moloney, Head of Communications & Branding, Avolon, Patrick T. Murphy, RHA Director.
New RTÉ One Programme sees Artists Compete to Showcase Work at RHA Annual Exhibition
The RHA Annual Exhibition is one of the most important dates on Ireland’s cultural calendar and an opportunity for all artists – professionals and amateurs alike – to have their work showcased.
On Thursday 27th June 2019 at 10.15pm, RTÉ One television broadcast Exhibitionists: Road to the RHA, an hour-long documentary following seven artists who are hoping to have work selected from the competitive open call. For the first time ever, cameras have been allowed behind-the-scenes at the 196-year-old Royal Hibernian Academy, including access to the judging process for the exhibition which is fondly known as ‘The Annual’.
The seven artists have been chosen from all over the country and each has their own story to tell. From Limerick’s Brian O’Rourke, a former cannabis dealer who learned to paint in prison; to Connemara’s Mo West who, at the age of 92, has just been accepted into Aosdána; to Mayo painters 19-year-old Hetty Lawlor, who’s never submitted before, and her father Jimmy, who’s submitted many times before, so far without success; to Laois’s chronic depression-sufferer Aishling Hennessey, for whom painting in a freezing cold barn at the end of her father’s garden is more than just a hobby – it’s survival; to Lucan’s Salvatore Fullam whose obsession with identity prompted him to change his name to Salvatore of Lucan; and Dingle based sculptor Mick Davis who makes work from recycled bicycle tyres and chains, most famously for Game of Thrones.
“The exhibition gives artists the power to launch successful careers, as emerging artists get the opportunity to share wall space with some of Ireland’s biggest stars,’ says documentary director Hilary Fennell, ‘however, the standard is incredibly high and, out of over 2,500 works submitted to the open call only 300 or so will be selected. Some of our seven artists have never had work in such a prestigious show before, so it will be nerve wracking to see which, if any, of them get in.”
The programme follows the artists through the process of creating an artwork for ‘The Annual’, to finding out whether or not it has been accepted. Along the way we discover why and how they make art and how they deal with rejection. And we reveal, for the first time on television, the dark art of the RHA selection process, chaired this year by its first ever female President, renowned artist Abigail O’Brien, as well as observing the controlled mayhem of the install as the gallery team race against time to create this art marathon of a show in time for Opening Day.
For further information please contact Rebecca Gale, RHA Marketing, email@example.com or Sheena Madden, Amplify Agency, +353 87 245 8046, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS RELEASE & ARTISTS PROFILES AVAILABLE HERE
The RHA Ashford Gallery invites artists to submit proposals to exhibit in 2020 and 2021. The Ashford Gallery is a commercial space within the RHA, which creates opportunities to reach new collectors and audiences.
Artists are asked to submit the following by email ONLY to email@example.com
- Artist statement
- 5 images or links to video/film work (images no larger than 1MB – images larger than 1MB will be deemed unsuitable and disregarded)
- Exhibition proposal
Closing date: 28 June, 2019
Successful artists will be notified in early August 2019.
Peter McGovern is an award winning architect, born in Dublin in 1970. He graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology in 1996 with First Class Honours and was awarded the DIT Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. He was also a recipient of the Thomas Dammann Junior Memorial Trust scholarship.
Peter is a director at Henry J Lyons, where he has practiced since graduation, completing a number of important projects across a wide range of building types and scales. Peter’s work is epitomised by the pursuit of an architecture which responds creatively to contemporary social, economic and environmental
factors. Central to his ethos is the belief that each project should result in a singular expression appropriate to its time and its setting, and is ultimately a manifestation of the people, institutions and the community which it serves.
Among his works of note are the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street (2010), the New Central Bank of Ireland building on North Wall Quay (2017) and No.26 York Street for the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (2017).
Peter was elected ARHA in February 2019.
Independent documentary makers, Hilary Fennell and Mark McLoughlin are currently making a one hour film about this year’s RHA Annual Exhibition, to be screened prime time on RTÉ 1 television in June 2019.
The observational documentary follows seven very different artists in their attempts to have work accepted for Ireland’s most important open call show, also giving viewers a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse of the judging process and of the RHA itself, as it prepares for the most ambitious event on its calendar.
‘We chose our six talented artists very carefully,’ explains director Hilary Fennell, ‘some of them have never shown in such a prestigious show before, so it will be interesting to see which, if any, of them get in,’ she continues, with her fingers firmly crossed, ‘We’re featuring a sculptor, a printmaker and four painters. They all have very interesting personal stories, are at very different stages of their careers and come from all over the country. We began filming in January and have watched their art-works evolve, revealing why they make art, what inspires them and how their processes differ.
The Annual provides a fantastic opportunity for them to evolve as artists and in some cases to launch a vibrant and successful career. Each year around 1,500 artists submit over 2,500 works to the open call section of the Annual, of which approximately 300 pieces succeed in being exhibited.
The film crew will continue to follow the six artists through the whole process – from hand-in day, to the selection process, to the behind-the-scenes controlled mayhem of the install as the gallery team works around the clock to create this art marathon of a show. The filming will culminate on Varnishing Day, when viewers will find out if the work of the six artists makes it onto the hallowed RHA walls for the 189th Annual Exhibition.
Image: Filming with independent documentary makers, Hilary Fennell and Mark McLoughlin.
BEQUEST OF THE ESTATE OF PATRICK HENNESSY AND HENRY ROBERTSON CRAIG
From 2018, The Hennessy Craig Award of €20,000 will be made on a biennial basis, culminating with an exhibition of short-listed artists in the Dr. Tony Ryan Gallery every two years, at which the recipient of the award will be announced.
In 2018, the Hennessy Craig Jury shortlisted five eligible artists from the 188th Annual Exhibition and an additional five artists will be shortlisted in the 189th Annual Exhibition in 2019. The Award is open to any painter under the age of thirty-five exhibiting in the open submission section of the Academy’s Annual Exhibition. The painter must have studied at a recognised art college on the island of Ireland.
The shortlisted artists in 2018 were as follows:
This artist award of €20,000 in memory of H. Robertson Craig RHA and Patrick Hennessy RHA, was created through a generous bequest to the Academy by H. Robertson Craig and the terms under which it is awarded are those specified in his will.
Image: Leah Hewson, 2MoonsGossip (detail), Image courtesy of the artist.
The President and Members of the Royal Hibernian Academy are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of esteemed Honoury Member, Kevin Roche.
Image: Architect Kevin Roche at the Convention Centre, Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien / The Irish Times
Review: History of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts by John Turpin, Aidan Dunne, Irish Times, 5 January, 2019. See HERE.
The RHA were delighted to launch History of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts by John Turpin, published by Lilliput Press at the RHA on the 28 November, 2018.
Cited as “The most outstanding contribution to the visual arts to be published in Ireland this year” by Paul Caffrey, The Irish Arts Review, the History of the Royal Hibernian Academy of Arts by John Turpin, is divided into two volumes that describe two different political, social and artistic worlds: Volume One: 1823 – 1916, From Foundation to the Rising and Volume Two, 1916 – 2010 The Academy in Independent Ireland.
Already critically acclaimed, “This book will provide an invaluable source for anyone interested in Irish art and for art historians, curators, auction houses, collectors – and for any student of 19th Century Irish history and society” Julian Campbell, The Irish Arts Review.
John Turpin was born in Dublin in 1945, educated at Blackrock College and studied art history at University College Dublin and the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. He was appointed professor of art history at the National College of Art and Design in 1975 and took over as its director from 1989 to 1994. He retired in 2005.
He has written extensively on Irish art and has published books on the sculptors John Hogan and Oliver Sheppard, as well as a history of the NCAD.
Visit Lilliput Press HERE to order your copy.
The Royal Hibernian Academy, which operates one of the nation’s largest public galleries, RHA School and Studios, marked an event of great importance in its history when artist, Abigail O’Brien was elected as the 24th President of the Academy at its Annual General Meeting, October, 2018. Elected to RHA Membership in 2006, Abigail O’Brien, now the first ever female president in the Academy’s 195-year history, was delighted to accept.
In her inaugural address, O’Brien stated that “I am delighted and honoured to have been elected as the new President of the RHA. It is a huge responsibility, one which I have given much consideration and which I take most seriously. I take it seriously because the Royal Hibernian Academy has a unique place in the Irish arts and in Irish public life. Because it has an incredible history and exciting future.”
During her term, O’Brien intends to continue to build awareness and recognition of the RHA among the wider public, to widen the Membership of the RHA within the younger generation, develop new and engaged audiences, encourage new patrons to support the RHA and inspire new and discerning art buyers and collectors. She believes that the RHA has the tools and talents to achieve these goals through its invigorating exhibition and education programming, RHA School and Studio programme, its standards and its heritage.
O’Brien also added “As we approach the 200th anniversary of our Charter in 2023, we are offered a point of reflection on the past and a drive towards the future. What will the RHA look like in 2123? It takes vision. Artists before us had a vision from which we benefit today, and we have a duty to do likewise.
I am proud that the RHA has made such strides on gender balance in the past 15 years. The ethos has changed and we are a much more diverse and inclusive group now. But there is such a long way for the arts to go. We, the RHA, can play our part in the further advancement and I am honoured to accept this appointment during this very exciting time.” Abigail O’Brien PRHA, Oct 2018
Other elections on the day included, Eithne Jordan as Keeper and Robin Buick as Treasurer.
The former President, painter Mick O’Dea PPRHA stood down after four years of service. During his tenure, O’Dea established the Charter Sub-Committee, beginning the process of the Charter Amendments to bring the Academy in to the 21st Century and prepare it for the next 200 years. He oversaw the professionalisation of the RHA School with the appointment Colin Martin as School Principal. He also established the RCSI Art Award and further strengthened relations with fellow Academies – the RA, RUA and RSA, as well as continuing the relationship with the British Institution Foundation. An area of particular concern for O’Dea had been the election of a younger generation of Academicians alongside addressing the gender balance of the RHA Membership in time for the 200th Anniversary, in 2023.
Past Presidents of the Royal Hibernian Academy include;
William Ashford, 1823 – 1824
Francis Johnston, 1824 – 1829
William Cuming, 1829 – 1832
Martin Cregan, 1832 – 1857
George Petrie, 1857 – 1859
Stephen Catterson Smith, 1859 – 1866
Sir Thomas Deane, 1866 – 1868
Stephen Catterson Smith, 1868 – 1869
Sir Thomas A. Jones, 1869 – 1893
Sir Thomas Farrell, 1893 – 1900
Sir Thomas Drew, 1900 – 1910
Dermod O’Brien, 1910 – 1945
James Sleator, 1945 – 1950
John Keating, 1950 – 1962
Maurice MacGonigal, 1962 – 1977
Raymond McGrath, 1977 – 1977
David Hone, 1977 – 1982
Dr. Thomas Ryan, 1982 – 1992
Carey Clarke, 1992 – 1996
Dr. Arthur Gibney, 1996 – 2005
Stephen McKenna, 2005 – 2009
Des McMahon, 2009 – 2014
Mick O’Dea, 2014 – 2018
Abigail O’Brien, 2018 – present
The Royal Hibernian Academy seeks a full-time Technical & Facilities Manager to support the technical needs of the RHAs facilities and programme. The Technical & Facilities Manager will have responsibility for delivering, to an exceptionally high standard, all the technical needs of the RHA/s artistic programmes and events; as well as overseeing the day-to-day and long-term maintenance of the RHA building. The Technical & Facilities Manager will work closely with operations staff to manage the RHA event diary, roster staff and liaise with artists / clients as required. The role includes managing external contractors and the Health & Safety Committee. Initial two-year contract with potential for renewal, six-month probationary period.
Particular Arts Programme related responsibilities include:
- Working under the supervision of the RHA’s Curators to plan and deliver the physical elements of exhibition installations to achieve the highest standards of exhibition possible.
- Leading the technical team to manage the physical aspects of visual art installations and hangs, ensuring that professional art-handling practice is adhered to at all times.
- Preparatory work for exhibition installations – including building plinths, walls, window blocks, hanging artworks, sourcing goods/services.
- Advising on and implementing the technological requirements of exhibitions and art projects.
- Along with the Curatorial Team liaising with exhibiting artists to realise their vision to the highest possible standards across exhibitions.
- Technical management of educational aspects of the programme including preparation of spaces for classes, talks, workshops, screenings, performances, events and conferences.
Facilities Management responsibilities include:
- Monitoring of the security and Building Management Systems, including the monitoring and reporting on gallery environmental controls.
- Supervising and actioning the set-up and striking of events and room set-up for hires while maintaining the highest service to artists and clients.
- Monitoring of the building’s technical systems including the lift, heating, plumbing and electricity and arranging appropriate maintenance.
- Leading the RHA’s Health and Safety Committee to advise on and implement full compliance with the organisation’s Health & Safety Statement.
- Maintaining the Technical and AV stores including an asset register of all equipment and the upkeep of same.
- Leading on the upkeep, maintenance and caretaking duties for the entire building and grounds as needed.
- Day to day upkeep of the gallery spaces to include checking equipment used in exhibitions is in good working order and to condition report on the artwork (with the Curator).
- General experience with building maintenance, including relevant carpentry and painting and ground maintenance.
- Experience of building systems and procedures.
- Good time management and communication skills are desirable.
- An ability to delegate work appropriately and follow-through with staff is important.
- Concrete experience in an arts venue handling, packing and mounting visual art projects is vital.
- Experience in installing contemporary exhibitions, especially handling new media equipment, data projectors and electronic art.
- Experience working with artists.
- Knowledge and experience with both PC and Apple computers.
- Experience mending art works and art work structures is an asset.
Please note this position works across all art disciplines with an adaptable mindset.
Remuneration will be based on relevant experience. Regular weekend and evening work will be required.
To apply please email a C.V. & Cover Letter outlining experience and suitability for the advertised position to firstname.lastname@example.org by midnight Monday 15thOctober. Interviews with selected candidates will take place during the week of 22nd October. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
Photographer to inspire future healthcare leaders
Wednesday, 5 September 2018: Amelia Stein has been announced as the winner of the 2018 RCSI Art Award. The prize, awarded to the artist for her work ‘Brig Gen Jimmy Flynn (retd) DSM’, was presented by Mr Kenneth Mealy, President of RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) at a ceremony which took place at the RHA.
Now in its third year, the RCSI Art Award was established to celebrate the common heritage of RCSI and the RHA and the long-standing association between art, medicine and well-being.
The artwork was selected from more than 600 works that were on display at the 188th RHA Annual Exhibition. The winning artwork ‘Brig Gen Jimmy Flynn (retd) DSM’ was originally commissioned as part of a collaboration between Amelia Stein and the Military Archives as part of the Military Archives Oral History Project (MAOHP) which aims to record memory, oral history and tradition associated with the Defence Forces. As part of the prize, the winning artist will receive a commission for a new work to be displayed on RCSI’s campus.
Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive/ Registrar, RCSI said: ‘The RCSI Art Award is a celebration of the common heritage of the RCSI and RHA and the long-standing association between art, medicine and well-being. We are delighted to present the prize to Amelia Stein for this inspirational and meticulous portrait. We look forward to working with the artist to create a new work for the RCSI campus that will inspire our future healthcare leaders and evoke a sense of well-being for all who observe it.’
Both RCSI (1784) and the RHA (1823) have Georgian origins and are 32-county bodies with educational roles. RCSI was occupied, while the RHA was destroyed in the Easter Rising of 1916 and the RCSI Art Award was established to coincide with the centenary of these historic events.
Open to all artists working in paint, drawing, print, sculpture, photography and architecture, the RHA Annual Exhibition attracts a large public and critical audience with 48,000 visitors last year.
The successful artist was awarded €5,000 and the RCSI silver medal and will also receive a commission to the value of €10,000 for a new work for the RCSI collection.
All works of art, in any medium, selected for the 188th RHA Annual Exhibition were considered for the RCSI Art Award. The other shortlisted works were: ‘Venus of Holles Street’ by Jason Ellis, ‘Extraverted’ by Killian Schurmann, ‘Seeing Red’ by Taffina Flood; and ‘Buoyed’ by Michael Quane RHA.
The RCSI Art Award Committee includes Mr Kenneth Mealy, President, RCSI (Chair); Hugh Linehan, Arts & Culture Editor, The Irish Times; Patrick T. Murphy, Director, RHA; Mick O’Dea, President, RHA; Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy, RCSI & RHA; Dr Abdul Bulbulia, Alumnus, RCSI; and Louise Loughran, Head of Communications, RCSI.
RCSI is ranked among the top 250 (top 2%) of universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2018) and its research is ranked first in Ireland for citations. It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide. RCSI is a signatory of the Athena SWAN Charter.
The President of the Academy and Members are deeply saddened to announce that Melanie Stewart (née le Brocquy) HRHA passed away peacefully, June 22, 2018 at Havenwood Retirement Home, Co. Waterford.
It is with great sadness that the President and Members of the Academy acknowledge the passing of esteemed Honorary member, Sean McSweeney HRHA, 1935 – 2018.
See Irish Times, Saturday June 23rd here.
Dear Friends & Colleagues,
It is with great sadness that I write to tell you of the death of Patrick Pye RHA on Thursday 8th February.
We extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Noirin, daughters Naoise and Róisín and extended family. In his 89 years Patrick lived a full and productive life as a painter, printmaker, writer, as a deeply spiritual thinker and as a loving family man.
He was one of our most venerable Members. I last saw him this summer, wheelchair bound and with diminished eyesight still absorbed in looking at a Vermeer painting at the National Gallery show. A new audience got to acquaint themselves with his work at a recent group show at IMMA. He spoke honestly about art and was a valued voice at our assemblies. We mourn him and we will miss him.
A gathering for close friends will take place on Sunday, 11th February from 2pm to 5pm in the Pye family home – Piperstown, Tallaght, Dublin 24. The removal will take place on Monday, 12th February at 5pm in St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght. The funeral will take place on Tuesday, 13th February at 11am in St. Mary’s Priory, Tallaght and Patrick Pye will be laid to rest in St. Maelruain’s Parish, Tallaght. Please see addresses below:
St. Mary’s Priory
St. Maelruain’s Parish
(Church of Ireland)
James Hanley RHA
With prizes totaling over €60,000, the RHA Annual Exhibition prize fund is unlike any other artistic prize fund in Ireland. The RHA works closely with our many generous supporters, to secure this prize fund annu- ally and we are ambitious that a similar prize nd will be available to artists exhibiting in the 188th Annual Exhibition.
This prize fund is distributed to artists recognized for the artistic achievement in various disciplines and includes 8 awards for works in any medium, 4 awards for sculptural works, 2 awards for painting, 2 awards for photography (1 emerging), 1 award for a senior artist, 1 award for portraiture and 1 award for architecture.
Two of the major prizes include the RCSI Art Award in association with the Irish Times, an award of €15,000 (€5,000 prize and €10,000 commission) and the Hennessey Craig Scholarship for €10,000 awarded to a painter under the age of 35.
RCSI ART AWARD IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE IRISH TIMES
The 187th Annual Exhibition saw the second year of the RHA’s partnership with RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland) and the RCSI Art Award, which is awarded during the RHA Annual Exhibition in recognition of the connection between art and healing.
A sculpture, by Remco de Fouw ARHA, inspired by the atlas and axis vertebrae of the spine was unveiled as the inaugural commission for the RCSI Art Award. The two-piece work, a sculpture diptych, is made from Spanish alabaster and glass and is on display in the York Street concourse area of RCSI, 123 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. The sculpture was unveiled in May by Professor John Hyland, President, RCSI in the presence of Mick O’Dea, PRHA.
The 2017 recipient of the RCSI Art Award was Miranda Blennerhassett for her installation piece RHA. The work by Miranda Blennerhassett that will be commissioned as part of this prize will join de Fouw’s piece as part of RCSI’s collection on campus aiming to inspire future healthcare leaders.
THE HENNESSEY CRAIG SCHOLARSHIP
The Hennessey Craig Scholarship of €10,000 is awarded annually to a painter under the age of 35 exhibiting in the open submission section of the Academy’s Annual Exhibition. The painter must have studied at a recognised art college in Ireland and the award is to ena- ble the painter to pursue a course of further self-determined study in Ireland or abroad.
The prize is in memory of Patrick Hennessey RHA and H. Robertson Craig RHA and was established when H. Robertson Craig left a legacy gift to the RHA in his will.
Previous recipients include:
Vera Klute, David Hedderman, Alan Freney, Mollie Dohuit, Neil Carroll, Stephanie Rowe, Francis Matthews, Hugh Delap, Sinéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Gabhann Dunne, Ann Quinn, Tim Millen, Comhghall Casey, Gillian Lawlor, Keith Wilson, Shane Berkery, Molly Judd and Daniel Nelis.
Image: Daniel Nelis, Dark Turned Fields, Oil on panel, 30 x 42 cm, Image courtesy of the artist.
On Friday, 24 February a very special dedication took place of one of our most important galleries.
The gallery on the RHA’s first floor, adjoining the Petronella Brown Gallery, has been named the Pádraig O’hUiginn Gallery. This is to honour the vision and passion of Mr. O’hUiginn, during a lifetime of public service, to create a better nation for us all.
A private reception for family and benefactors took place in the newly named gallery with a wonderful acceptance speech given by Mr. O’hUiginn.
VENUE: Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda. April 2017
Architecture and the built environment is discussed and explained almost entirely through secondary representations – photography, film, drawing, books and TV. Paradoxically the built environment is meant to be experienced in real time and space but it is illustrated and explained through representations. Architects learn, imagine and conceive of the built environment through representation. This group exhibition looks at how artists represent and discuss the built environment. What are the biases and limitations inherent in representing the real?
Curated by the Irish Museum of Modern Art, IMMA. March 2017
After a lifetime of work in painting and stained glass, with the help of Fr. Paul Murray OP and writer/journalist Brian McAvera, author of Patrick Pye, Life and Work, 2013 Pye’s painting Pity for the King of Friday, 2010 will be hung in the Vatican, Vatican City, Italy. Pity for the King of Friday was exhibited in the RHA summer show in 2010. As a painter responsible for creating many works on the subject of the Crucifixion, with this work Pye found new ways of exploring both subject and medium. As McAvera wrote in Pye’s biography “what other Irish painter could deliver so comprehensively a re-imagined subject? What other European painter could take such spectacular liberties with a religious subject and yet allow us the freedom to enter into this strange world as believers and non believers? Paintings like this are a product of a lifetime’s exploration of composition and colour, a lifetime’s experience in the creation of space and the nailing down of a narrative into a pungent, echoing simplicity” – Brian McAvera 2013.
Pye will also exhibit 8-10 works in March 2017 in the highly anticipated international group exhibition As Above, So Below: Portals, Visions, Spirits & Mystics curated by the Irish Museum of Modern Art. Large works, which haven’t been seen in public since his retrospective in 2000, will be included, such as the large triptych The Life of Heaven, 1997 and God pitched his tent among men, 2000. Studies of these works will also be displayed to convey the progression of style and composition.
Pye is also set to exhibit three works with the National Centre for Liturgy at their conference in Maynooth in February 2017. These will include a small stained glass piece Our Lady at Home c.1980 and a wall hanging John the Baptist c. 1990. For more information on any of the above, please visit: www.facebook.com/artistpatrickpye/
VENUE: Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Dublin. 16 February – 18 March
This upcoming exhibition is titled Many-World Interpretation (agus rudaí eile nach iad). The work interrogates the notion that we live in an infinite web of alternate timelines, it references visual culture, kitsch, art history, quantum mechanics, all pressed into service in relation to her own world and to the wider social and cultural sphere. The existence of many worlds in parallel at the same time, gives her artistic license to appropriate imagery from multiple sources to recreate these multiple parallel universes on her canvases. For more information please contact email@example.com
VENUE: Hunt Museum, Limerick, 1 December – 19 February, 2017
Weather Gauge is a cycle of new paintings by Donald Teskey RHA featuring oils on canvas and works on paper that allows the viewer to examine the natural world with its all-encompassing vigor through the eyes of an artist who has spent twenty years making this his primary concern. The exhibition is curated by the Hunt Museum in collaboration with Oliver Sears Gallery, Dublin.
For more information about this exhibition please contact the Hunt Museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 061 312 833.
The Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología (UTEC) in Lima, designed by Grafton Architects, has won the first ever RIBA International Prize. Setting a new global standard for architectural achievement, the Royal Institute of British Architects’ prize has been judged by a grand jury chaired by world-renowned architect, Richard Rogers.
UTEC is an inspirational new building in the Barranco district of Lima and a bold new addition to the city skyline. The Ireland-based architecture firm Grafton Architects, in collaboration with local partners, Shell Arquitectos, have created a new campus building for Lima’s specialist engineering university, established to give young Peruvians access to qualifications, professional opportunities and to encourage social mobility.
Speaking about the building, the RIBA jury said: UTEC is an exceptional example of civil architecture – a building designed with people at its heart. Grafton Architects have created a new way to think about a university campus, with a distinctive ‘vertical campus’ structure responding to the temperate climatic conditions and referencing Peru’s terrain and heritage.
‘Sitting on the border of two residential districts in Lima, in section UTEC perches tantalizingly on the edge of a ravine. Seen from across the ravine it is as bold and as pure a statement of the symbiosis between architecture and engineering as could be imagined; a piece of geology imposed on its pivotal site, mirroring the organic curve of the landscape and accommodating itself in the city. To its close neighbours, it is a series of landscaped terraces with clefts, overhangs and grottos, a modern day Machu Picchu.
UTEC has been designed to encourage its students to interact in a unique way with the building. The vertical structure provides open circulation and meeting spaces in a succession of platforms that compose the ‘frame’ of the building; teaching rooms, laboratories and offices are enclosed, inserted into and suspended from the exposed concrete structure. The frame is a device providing shade, a place of rich spatial exuberance and a platform from which to view the life of the city. The entire life of this vertical campus is on full display to the people of Lima.
UTEC is the culmination of years of experimentation by Grafton Architects. In this building they show the mastery of their craft, gifting Lima with a bold yet considerate contribution to the city and a visionary, world-class building.’
RIBA President Jane Duncan said: ‘UTEC is an exceptional addition to the city of Lima, and a project that will inspire other architects and universities all over the world.
‘Grafton Architects have created an innovative new model for a university campus that is highly responsive to its local environment and community. The concept of a ‘vertical campus’ defies convention, as does the mix of open and enclosed spaces, but both are key to the success of this building visually and spatially.
The RIBA International Prize was created to celebrate civil architecture that empowers people and societies to innovate and progress. UTEC stood out from all other entries from around the world, clearly demonstrating its understanding, engagement with and concern for those who are lucky enough to live near, visit, teach and learn in it. The RIBA is delighted to award Grafton Architects the 2016 RIBA International Prize.’
Directors Yvonne Farrell & Shelley McNamara established Grafton Architects in 1978. Both are graduates of UCD, Fellows of the RIAI, International Honorary Fellows of the RIBA, elected members of Aosdána and Yvonne Farrell was elected Associate Member of the RHA in 2009.