Graduate Studio Award 2016: Bassam Al-Sabah

The RHA School is delighted to announce that Bassam Al-Sabah is the recipient of the RHA School Graduate Award for 2016. This provides a fully funded studio for the period of one year commencing in September 2016 and provides a recent graduate with the opportunity to develop their practice within the institutional frame work of the RHA.
In a similar vein to Northern Irish filmmaker Mark Cousins’ documentary The First Movie, where we see Iraq through the eyes of children of Iraq, Bassam Al-Sabah’s memories as a child of war in Iraq play out in a playful but palpable installation that reveals the inherent joy and resilience of children in times of societal trauma. In an interview with the artist that is interlaced with anime dubbed into Iraqi, the artist’s past is continually revised to meet the present, when, ultimately, childhood fantasy collapses into the reality of adulthood.
– James Merrigan, Billion Art Journal

The panel for the Graduate Award was Ruth Carroll (RHA Curator), Colin Martin (Artist & RHA School Principal) and James Merrigan (Writer & Critic) who visited graduate exhibitions in DIT, IADT and NCAD.

The shortlisted graduates for the award were Ciara Donnelly (DIT), Joanne Reid (IADT), Sven Sandberg (NCAD), Aoife Dunne (NCAD), Elaine Hoey (NCAD) and Laura Skehan (DIT).

The RHA School has four purpose built studios situated in Ely Place, all with north facing light and 24 hour access. The award covers the cost of studio rent, utilities and administration for the year, as well as allowing access to RHA School courses and masterclasses, curatorial staff and other professional artists.

The new RHA Graduate Studio Award has been made possible by the generosity of the Friends of the RHA in response to last year’s call to support an emerging artist at a crucial stage of their career.

For more information on supporting the RHA Graduate Studio Award or other initiatives in the RHA School please contact Kate McBride, Academy Co-ordinator: kate@rhagallery.ie