The jeweller, Seliena Coyle, has been announced the winner of the 2015 Golden Fleece Award. The annual award is administered by an independent trust, established in 2000 in accordance with the wishes of Lillias Mitchell, with submissions reviewed by a panel of advisors. Coyle’s most recent work, intended to construct an Irish aesthetic ‘without sentiment or cliché’, uses bog oak with other materials. She uses new technologies such as 3D printing in conjunction with traditional techniques. Coyle will use the award to research and develop a new body of work and to attend the 2015 SNAG (Society of North American Goldsmiths) conference in Boston. Merit prizes were awarded to the painter David Eager Maher and to the ceramist Kate O’Kelly who works with slip cast and mould making. She plans to use the award to improve her studio facilities. The sculptors Bridget O’Gorman and Rachel Joynt were commended. Joynt is best known for large public sculpture, often referencing the skeletal forms of sea creatures, upon which topic she quotes Richard Dawkins’ comment on the sand dollar as ‘a creature whose very strangeness helps us to see ourselves more clearly by showing us what we are not.
Applications for the 2016 Golden Fleece Award are now invited, and can be made online through www.goldenfleeceaward.com. The closing date is Friday November 20, 2015. The shortlist will be announced in February 2016, with presentation of the awards to be made in March 2016. The Award is open to artists living and working in Ireland, and Irish born artists working overseas at any career stage in figurative visual art, craft or applied art. The overall fund for the 2016 Award is €20,000. The Award normally consists of one major award worth €12-15,000 plus a number of smaller commendation awards. Further details on eligibility are available on the website.