• Contact us
  • Location & visitor info
  • Search
  • Visitor Info
  • Contact us
The Venue

RDS Visual Art Awards Winners

2018 RDS Visual Art Awards Winners


Mary Sullivan - RDS Taylor Art Award €10,000

Bere island native Mary Sullivan has won the 2018 RDS Taylor Art Award for her BA work At Home, At War. Mary Sullivan is a graduate of the DIT Dublin School of Creative Arts, Sherkin Island, where she received a first-class honours BA in Visual Art. Her RDS Taylor Art Award winning installation is a video sculpture piece linking the repetitive nature of domestic chores to the drill and precision of military discipline.

Mary constructed a life-size military ‘look-out’ block house, which houses four video performances on four flat-screen televisions viewed through a peep hatch on each side. Mary recorded a series of performances in abandoned military sites on Bere Island, former home to a British navy base. Each task in the video works is undertaken with precision and care in an underground, windowless passageway. The scenes in the tunnel allude to suffocation and claustrophobia, as well as speaking back to Ireland’s colonial past and raising questions of the role of women in Irish society.

Speaking about the winning work, exhibition curator Amanda Coogan said: “Mary Sullivan’s installation was a unanimous choice by the judging panel for the RDS Taylor Art Award. She is an artist of immense integrity and has created a powerful installation that speaks to Ireland’s colonial past and in parallel explores the role of women in Ireland".



Gary Reilly - R.C. Lewis-Crosby Award​ €5,000 

NCAD graduate Gary Reilly was awarded the R.C. Lewis Crosby Award for Duanaire. This work involved the artist collaborating with a composer and a brass band. It incorporates a film and a beautifully crafted publication linked to the port in Drogheda, Co. Louth. Gary’s multimedia piece explores the relationship of the town and its port which has changed over the years as it moved from state to commercial semi-state ownership. In the past, Drogheda has had a strong working-class identity, but Gary suggests that the town has lost much of this identity in the post-industrial era.



Sue Dolan - RDS Special Award €2,500

A new cash award was awarded to Sue Dolan – a graduate of CIT Crawford College of Art & Design in Cork. Her piece entitled a mala nada na lama, is in response to a case study of documented resistance to the displacement of a community in Rio de Janeiro, which happened in advance of the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, and it draws transcultural parallels with women’s rights in Ireland in 2018. Sue is currently on a six-month residency at the National Sculpture Factory and has been awarded a Cork Film Centre residency. She won the Lavit Gallery Student of the Year Award, which gives her a solo exhibition in the gallery in February 2019.



Elaine Grainger - Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency Award in Paris

The winner of the 2018 Centre Culturel Irlandais Residency Award in Paris is Elaine Grainger, an MA graduate of NCAD. This award is sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran who have a strong track record of supporting Irish artists.

Her work entitled barely hardly there, is a site-specific installation. Each work is assembled with the intention of interrelating with the others, connected through the positioning of the viewer. Materials such as clay and glass are purposely placed with materials such a plastic and neon. The work hovers between two and three dimensions.



Anishta Chooramun - RHA Graduate Studio Award

Another new award for 2018 is the result of a partnership with the RHA who have offered its RHA Graduate Studio Award as part of the 2018 RDS Visual Art Awards. With a value of €5,000, this prize comes with a stipend of €2,500 which is supported by the RDS. IADT Graduate Anishta Chooramun is the recipient of this award which was selected by the RHA.

Entitled And Then We Met Anishta’s work comprises of a series of sculptures made from various materials including birch ply, paper, glass, fabric, metal, expandable foam and lino. The pieces vary in size and are installed to create an abstract jigsaw puzzle.

Share this page

Get RDS updates in your inbox.

Get All RDS Venue updates into your inbox

If you want to stay informed on the RDS Philanthropic society click here.