Some 1,604 works were submitted for the 138th Royal Ulster Academy Annual Exhibition, of which 388 were finally selected and are on display at the Ulster Museum in Belfast until the 5 January.
With fifteen prizes to be awarded, your odds of winning one, if selected, were roughly one in twenty! This year’s RUA perpetual gold medal went to Angela Hackett ARUA for her oil painting Nature Mort; the silver medal (for non-members) was won by Cara Dunne with another oil painting Paris (Second Evening) and the bronze (for a student) was taken by Katherine Lockett-Clark for her photo-book A Bird in the Hand.
For a figurative work in any media, Mark Shields won the Conor prize with his collage Epitaph, the Drawing prize went to Michael Geddis for Stump of Jesse 111 and the Original Vision prize was claimed by John Tinney for his giclée print Field. Despite very strong competition, Janet Hoy won the Painting prize with her egg tempera and decals on panel Memento Mori 3 – Plastic Ocean, with the Paul Henry Landscape award going to Peter Neill VPRUA for his pigment print Deep End.
For printmaking, the award went to Brian Gallagher’s unique scraperboard piece Monkey Puzzle, with Aimée Nelson taking the Sculpture prize for Lens Structure 2 in steel and glass with the addition of lenses and a mirror. For watercolour, Joy Gerard’s Protest Crowd (the North is Next) won the day, while the Irish News prize went to Mickey Rooney for his photographic print Green.
Joanne Davidson scooped the KPMG Young Artist of the Year award with her Geography of Fear N22ii03.19 (another photographic work), while the Tyrone Guthrie Residency award went to Gillian Cullen for her pencil drawing Healing. The eagerly anticipated Portrait prize went to Adele Chapman for her acrylic on panel Portrait of Louise.