Internationally renowned silversmith Cara Murphy; current all-Ireland harping champion Patricia Daly, and Research Fellow (at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry), Leontia Flynn are the three gifted local artists who have recently achieved a Major Individual Artist Award, worth £15,000 each, from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Congratulating the recipients of this year’s Award, Roisín McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland said “The Major individual Artist Award is one of the many ways in which the Arts Council supports our talented artists and promotes the significance and value of the arts to the public. This Award is designed to give established artists, with national or international recognition, the space and time to develop significant or ambitious work. Cara, Leontia and Patricia will be supported, through this Award, to create and produce something very special, which will contribute to the powerful role the arts can play in society, and to their own artistic development. It will also ensure that continued artistic excellence and quality from Northern Ireland is maintained on the national and international stage”.
Cara’s Award will allow her to fulfill the commission she has won to make a significant piece of silver tableware for the Downing Street Silver Collection, used by the Prime Minister for state and private functions.
Commenting on this, and her Major Award, Cara Murphy said “Winning the commission from the Silver Trust for the Downing Street Silver Collection was great, but getting this Award from the Arts Council is brilliant news as it means I can fulfill that commission. Providing a contribution from Northern Ireland to one of the major, prestigious UK collections is a fantastic opportunity. ”
Patricia Daly will use her £15,000 to create an ambitious piece of music for a 4-piece harp ensemble to honour Armagh born collector of music, Edward Bunting. Bunting was employed by the 1792 ‘Belfast Harp Festival’ to note down the music of the last ‘oral-tradition’ Irish harpers. Patricia’s piece will be performed publically at the 10th Edward Bunting Harp Festival, in Armagh.
With her Major Individual Artists Award from the Arts Council, poet Leontia Flynn will be able to take a break from her academic commitments and spend time completing a third collection of poetry, ‘Profit and Loss’. This is a series of poems that investigate ideas of legacy. A new play, looking at identity theft and related fraud, will also be completed as a result of this Award.