This year, we are celebrating the 11th edition of the Inspirational Arts Photography Award, and what a year it has been! The graduates have produced their final year project in exceptional circumstances and adapted to new challenges rapidly, with online launches and exhibitions. Congratulation to all 2020 graduates!
The Inspirational Arts Photography Award is open to students graduating in photography from the Technological University Dublin, Griffith College Dublin, Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and the Limerick School of Art & Design. Entry is automatic and is based on the students’ graduate project. The judge of this year’s award is Ángel Luis González Fernández, Director of PhotoIreland.
The 4 finalists of the Inspirational Arts Photography Award 2020 are:
- Sebastian Farron Mahon from Griffith College Dublin.
- Isabela Szczutkowska from the Technological University Dublin.
- Jialin Long from Dun Laoghaire Institute Of Art Design & Technology.
- Sibéal Riordan from LIT Limerick School of Art & Design.
Each finalist receives the opportunity to make their own publication in the TLP Editions series, and all the projects will be presented to the public in October, at Meeting House Square – where this year’s winner will also be announced. The winner will receive a collector’s edition book of their work printed by Inspirational Arts and bound by Barbara Hubert Bookbindery.
The 2020 Finalists
Set in the Gaeltacht region of Gleann Cholm Cille, south-west Donegal, in an area named after one of Ireland’s patron saints Colm Cille, The Transcendence of Innocent Objects is a visual exploration of humankind’s desire to forge polymorphous stories. This remote region is the resting place of 6,000-year-old pagan monuments and cultural artefacts dating back to the 18th century. Despite the harsh Atlantic elements, life flourishes in this charged and transcendent place. This series is an archaeological and lyrical exploration into the remnants of human activity in the area, juxtaposed against the prevailing natural elements of Ireland’s west coast. The images which look to the present, engage with traces from the past, reminding us too that we are all just passing through.
The idea that technology allows us to see at any time the places that we have never been to before, was the starting point of Let’s Take the Wrong Way Home. This is a collection of photomontage works that are representations of landscapes that do not exist. Each piece is a combination of photographs from both places that the artist calls home, Poland and Ireland and in combination, each image constitutes an unfulfilled dream and desire for those two places to become one. Using Google Street View, Szczutkowska went to her hometown of Wrocław to document places of great personal significance. The photographs shot from the screens were taken using 5×4” black and white sheets of negative film, then processed and printed in the darkroom. After that, they were combined with photographs of natural landscapes in Ireland. Textual errors, caused by the speed of broadband, result in a hybrid of urban and rural, digital and analogue, human and non-human, present moment and moment remembered. Dislocation finds its place in between the images that emerge and the dream of reconciling these realities.
Red illuminates was created as reflection on the culture in socialist countries. The project started with a walk near where the artist grew up. In this residential area in Beijing, there was a Special Criminal Syndicate Combat propaganda poster on average every 40 meters. Long’s interests lie within restoring the red politics in culture and ways of cultivating loyalty in socialist countries through an installation form. The moving image documents that the orchid stayed in a dark place where it was listening to socialist propaganda under artificial grow lights continuously for 30 days.
Sibéal explores themes of trauma, healing and the materiality of the body through experimental video, sound and photography. In her most recent work, she performs “healing rituals” as a means of healing the mind and body. She sees nature as a nurturing force and aims to reconnect with it through these performances, thus reconnecting with herself. She uses the body as material, and chooses to document performative ritual to camera using analogue techniques because of their tactile and archival nature.