Rachel Doolin, Promethean Illusions
Ten thousand euros is a very handsome prize in anybody’s language but for “graduating final year BA and MA students” it’s a real bonanza. So congrats to the RDS for doubling the value of the long established Taylor Art Award this year to €10,000, the lucky winner of which is the Crawford College of Art & Design graduate, Rachel Doolin. Significantly the chairman of the judging panel, Kim Mawhinney, referred to the beauty of the installation which bears the rather challenging title of Promethean Illusions. According to Rachel herself it “comprises three interconnecting elements (weeds, sponges and nests) and lures the viewer into an illusionary world that strives for perfection in its manufactured form”. The construction is certainly extremely complex with Rachel’s delicate, pale petals (literally home made in her kitchen) floating airily from the extending branches of copper and steel wire.
Traditionally the Taylor prize went to a work of painting but the RDS is obviously in changing mood and next year there will be changes too in organising the competition itself. Instead of being an open competition, the RDS will appoint curators to visit all the end of year shows in the country to asses the work in situ. They will then draw up a short list of the most promising graduating artists who will be invited to apply for the RDS Visual Arts Awards. The judging panel will assess the online entries and images and select the final artists for inclusion in the show. The subsequent exhibition, which will be held in the Concert Hall in October 2016, will include fewer artists than before but each will show a full body of work.
In the meantime, those interested in the work of some of the most impressive graduates from the classes of 2015, can get a preview in the forthcoming Autumn edition of the IAR.