Advisory Panel

The Trustees of the Golden Fleece Award are supported by an Advisory Panel. Their knowledge and expertise is vital in guiding the development of the Award.

The Golden Fleece Advisory Panel is an independent committee engaged by the Golden Fleece Trust to review and provide feedback on Golden Fleece Award applications. The six Advisory Panel members are specialists with backgrounds in visual art, design, craft and applied arts, and now usually serve a term of three years.

Following a review of applications received, every Panel member submits a personal longlist of ten applicants. From these they select a shortlist of up to ten artists at a special meeting held early the following year. Following this, the Chair of the Advisory Panel presents the Panel’s shortlist and their recommendations for the Award to the Board of Trustees, who then decide how the Award will be distributed.

*Please note that current members of the Advisory Panel (named below) should NOT be named as referees by applicants when applying for the Golden Fleece Award.

2024 Golden Fleece Award Advisory Panel

Clíodhna Shaffrey - Panel Chair
Director, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios
Clíodhna Shaffrey is Director of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Dublin. She was part of the curatorial team for Ireland at Venice 2022, the national representation of Ireland at the 59th Venice Biennale. Clíodhna was previously Visual Arts Advisor to the Arts Council of Ireland, and Arts Officer with two local authorities in Ireland. She has worked extensively as an independent curator as well as implementing a diverse range of creative work across curation, policy, and arts planning.

Roger Bennett

Roger Bennett is a woodturner, a maker of distinctive bowls and vessels which are coloured and inlaid with silver. He has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally; examples of his work are included in numerous private and public collections, including those of the National Museum of Ireland, Design and Crafts Council Ireland and Boston Museum of Fine Arts. A former Board member of Visual Artists Ireland, he is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin (Modern Languages, 1976) and of the Crafts Council’s Business Development Course (1996). He has written numerous articles and essays about craft, and examples of his own work are available to view on his website.

Sara Flynn

Sara Flynn began her career in 1999 producing small-scale functional pots, as her skill has increased she has moved entirely into making one-off sculptural decorative vessels. ‘Closed’ abstract forms are also explored through the production of limited-edition cast bronze objects. She is represented in London by Erskine, Hall & Coe, Mayfair; and her work is held in many major collections in Ireland and abroad. She was shortlisted for the inaugural edition of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize in 2017 and has been a member of the Experts Panel for the Loewe Craft Prize from 2018-20 and 2022-24. More information is available on her website.

Joe Hogan
Joe Hogan has worked as a basketmaker since 1978. Over the last 20 years he has devoted most of his time to making artistic or sculptural baskets. This work is prompted by a desire to develop a deeper connection to the natural world. His work has been widely exhibited. Awards include the California Gold Medal at the RDS Craft Competition, a life-time achievement award from DCCI, and shortlisting for the Loewe Craft Prize. A portfolio of his work can be viewed online here.

Hugh Mulholland
Creative Director, Visual Arts, the MAC
Hugh Mulholland is Creative Director, Visual Arts at the MAC, Belfast, a position he has held since 2012. He was previously Director, the third space gallery, Belfast (2006-2012) and Director of Ormeau Baths Gallery, Belfast (1997-2006), and was founding Director of Context Gallery Derry (now CCA) (1992-1997). Mulholland has also worked as an independent curator and was Commissioner of Northern Ireland’s first presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2005 with a group exhibition titled ‘The Nature of Things’. He curated Northern Ireland’s exhibition at the following Biennale with a solo show of work by Willie Doherty. He was curator for Kilkenny Arts Festival in 2006 and 2007, as well as curating exhibitions internationally in Berlin, Istanbul and Italy.

Niamh O'Malley
Visual Artist
Niamh O’Malley is a visual artist from Mayo, based in Dublin. Her sculpture and moving image works explore art-making through a range of favoured materials – steel, limestone, wood, glass, and the observational document of film. She has made numerous major exhibitions in recent years, including ‘Gather’, Ireland’s national representation at the 2022 Venice Biennale which toured to The Model, Sligo; TBG+S, Dublin; and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast in 2023. She is an Associate member of the RHA and an elected member of Aosdána. More information is available on her website.

Past Advisory Panel Members (2002-2023)

Past members of the Golden Fleece Award Advisory Panel include Róisín de Buitléar (glass artist, former lecturer in the Glass Department at NCAD, Dublin and former Chair of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel), Carey Clarke (artist and Past President of the Royal Hibernian Academy), Terry Dunne (designer and maker of handwoven tapestries, floor rugs and textile art pieces), Martin Gale (visual artist and former Board member of the National Gallery of Ireland), Nancy Larchet (close friend of Lillias Mitchell, prominent member of the Watercolour Society of Ireland, and original Chair of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel), Dr Declan Long (Art critic and Co-Director of the MA ‘Art in the Contemporary World’, NCAD), Eoin Mac Lochlainn (visual artist and recipient of the Golden Fleece Award 2008), Helen McAllister (Head of Applied Materials at NCAD, Dublin), Catherine Marshall (art historian, editor and curator), Colin Martin (visual artist, lecturer and Head of the RHA School), Ann Mulrooney (creative industries leader and recipient of a Golden Fleece Merit Award in 2002, the Award's first year), Patrick T. Murphy (Director, Royal Hibernian Academy and former Chair of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel), Bairbre Ní Fhloinn (lecturer in Irish folklore and Ethnology, University College Dublin), Kevin O’Dwyer (silversmith, sculptor and freelance curator), Angela O'Kelly (jeweller, Head of Design for Body & Environment, NCAD, and former Chair of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel), Dara O’Leary (Arts Programme Manager, Royal Dublin Society), Neil Read (ceramicist and former Chair of the Golden Fleece Advisory Panel), Veronica Rowe (weaver and textile historian), Robert Russell (printmaker and Studio Director, Graphic Studio Dublin), and Dr Audrey Whitty (Director, National Library of Ireland).