Winners of 2024 Golden Fleece Award Announced

Winners of 2024 Golden Fleece Award Announced

Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde and Genevieve Howard announced as winners of the 2024 Golden Fleece Award.

The Trustees of the Golden Fleece Award are extremely pleased to announce the recipients of this year's Award. Visual artist Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde and wearable art/jewellery maker Genevieve Howard have taken the top prizes in each category - Visual Art, and Craft + Applied Art - with each receiving a Golden Fleece Award worth €10,000.

The shortlist of visual artists, craftspeople, and makers for the twenty-third annual Award also included Caoimhe Kilfeather (sculpture / installation), Elinor O'Donovan (mixed media / film), Frances Crowe (weaving), Kian Benson Bailes (installation / mixed media), Peter Sheehan (design / craft), and Sam Gleeson (knifemaking). All six shortlisted artists received a prize of €2,000 each.

In their practice Áine Mac Giolla Bhríde pursues the formation of a visual and sculptural language that makes manifest considerations of site and the situated body via staged arrangements. Recent work performs an investigation of space and self, working through a personal body of research that looks at the theoretical and historical development of the figure of the architect. Áine plans to use their Award to facilitate the development of new work through experimentation with new modes of presentation, incorporating moving display units and/or robotic components into the work while also making studied video portraits of objects.

Genevieve Howard's contemporary art jewellery and sculptural objects sit at the intersection of art, science, music and technology. The possibilities of visualising the unseen has always been the conceptual driving force within her practice, which is rooted in her background as a musician and singer. In recent work she has explored how the human voice can be used as a tool to render visible the individuality of a person within a material and to further generate bespoke design using an augmented anodizing process. Genevieve will use her Award to develop and produce a new body of work for inclusion in her first solo exhibition at Galerie Marzee in The Netherlands in late 2024.

The 2024 Golden Fleece Award Ceremony took place at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin on Wednesday 20 March. This year the Award attracted 242 applications from artists living in or originally from the island of Ireland. The 2024 prize fund worth a total of €32,000 makes the Golden Fleece Award the most generous art prize open to both visual artists and craft practitioners/makers in Ireland.

The Golden Fleece Award was established through a bequest by Dublin-born artist, educator and researcher Lillias Mitchell (1915-2000). She recognised the financial challenges faced by creative practitioners and the impact these could have on their work; in her Letter of Wishes to her Trustees she stated her desire that the Award should "give artists a 'boost' in times of particular need." Accordingly, the mission of the Golden Fleece Award is to provide resources for practising visual, craft and applied artists to innovate and develop their artistic vision at pivotal points in the development of their work. The annual award is open to artists at any career stage who can demonstrate existing merit and expertise.

Lillias Mitchell's Trustees are supported in carrying out her wishes by the Golden Fleece Award Advisory Panel, which this year comprised Clíodhna Shaffrey (Panel Chair and Director, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios); Roger Bennett (woodturner); Sara Flynn (ceramicist); Joe Hogan (basketmaker); Hugh Mulholland (Creative Director, Visual Arts, the MAC); and Niamh O'Malley (visual artist).