Ursula Burke, Paul Hallahan and Cecilia Moore announced as recipients of the Golden Fleece Award 2018

The trustees of the Golden Fleece Award are delighted to announce that this year the award will go to three artists Ursula Burke (porcelain sculptures), Paul Hallahan (painting in acrylics) and Cecilia Moore (metalworking) who will each receive €10,000. The award was announced today at a ceremony at the Royal Hibernian Academy (RHA). The 2018 prize fund is €30,000, making the Golden Fleece Award the most generous art prize in Ireland.The Golden Fleece Art Awards have warmly congratulated Ursula, Paul and Cecilia on their successes. They were selected from a very strong field of entries by artists and craftspeople. This year the submission fee to apply was abolished and the criteria were broadened to include “all forms of visual, craft and applied arts.” The trustees are delighted that the expanded criteria entry into the awards have caught the attention of the sector and saw this reflected in the record number and high standard of entries. The award is the most significant independent award in the thirty two counties that addresses an individual artist’s needs at a critical time.

Ursula Burke is a Belfast based sculptor whose porcelain and textile sculptures explore social and psychic issues, both in her native Northern Ireland and further afield, most recently in the United States. She wants to expand her work to a radically different level. The award will fund materials and her own studio space, as well as enabling research and helping her to expand her presence significantly on an international scale.

Paul Hallahan is a painter based in Waterford. In the recent past, Paul renounced a successful curator role in order to paint full time. His practice, fuelled by his interest in non-image based abstraction, is at a critical point. The award will give him support and energy to further his career at this crucial juncture. Paul is at present working towards two significant exhibitions, one in the RHA in 2018 and the other at the dlr Lexicon Gallery in 2019.

Cecilia Moore is a metalsmith of thirty years’ standing who recently began to revive the ancient craft of “raising”, a near obsolete process of repeatedly hammering sheet metal to form hollow sculptural forms. She will use the award to acquire high-quality raw materials, in particular silver, and to soundproof her workspace at the Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Dublin. It will also allow her to travel to build up her network of links internationally.


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