The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, has announced the 10 new recipients of the Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award for artists.

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The Markievicz Award is intended to support artists to develop their craft and ultimately produce great art that recognises and commemorates the role of women in the historical period 1912-1923 covered by the Decade of Centenaries Programme, and beyond.

The 10 awards announced today are to the artists:

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·       Emily Aoibheann (Circus)

·       Chloe Brenan (Film)

·       Tara Kearns (Visual Arts)

·       Margo McNulty (Visual Arts)

·       Janet Moran (Theatre)

·       Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín (Dance)

·       Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Literature – English)

·       Jody O’Neill (Theatre)

·       Aoife Spillane-Hinks (Opera)

·       Olesya Zdorovetska (Music)

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Awards under the scheme are made each year in the period 2021-2023 to up to 10 artists (either individual artists working alone or in collaboration with others), to a value of €25k per individual or group.  The Minister’s Department is partnering with the Arts Council on the administration of the scheme under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023.

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Minister Martin said:

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The 10 artists announced today as Markievicz Award recipients join the 20 artists already in receipt of the Award since it began in 2019.  The Award honours Constance de Markievicz – herself an artist – and provides tangible support for artists from all backgrounds and genres to produce new work that reflects on the role of women in the period covered by the centenary commemorations and beyond. 

10 artists receive Markievicz Award to create work that reflects on the role of women in Irish history 1
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Enhanced last year, 2022 is the fourth year of the Award ably administered by our partner, the Arts Council.  I am committed to supporting the Award this year and next as we work to renew, restore and support the working environment for artists in the wake of the public health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister Rabbitte said:  

Not a day goes by when I do not recall the joy and freedom of acting in my local theatre.  Like intelligence or beauty, creativity is a trait that is seen as rare and inherent, a trait that is intuitive and cannot be taught; the works that are produced by those with creativity are somewhat unattainable.

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The benefits of including and stressing the creative arts in an early childhood education are numerous and expansive, ranging from the physical to the emotional to the mental.

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But how can the creative arts develop children’s physical ability? Although we more than not take our actions for granted, our ability to move and our coordination is comprised of gross and fine motor skills, and our skill level in these movements are developed throughout our childhood.

Varying types of creative arts activities help children to build up their abilities in both categories of motion. For example, when a child grips and uses a paintbrush, or glues buttons and yarn to paper, he is engaging and advancing his fine motor skills. However, when he dances, skipping or clapping or jumping in time to the music, he stimulates the part of the brain that controls gross motor skills.

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Unsurprisingly, the creative arts provide an outlet for young children to explore and gain control over their emotions, too. The arts have always been considered to be a passionate and expressive pastime, and this holds true for kids as well, although in a manner different than for older individuals.

For example, while the arts help adults release feelings they might otherwise have difficulty expressing, the arts help young children to explore their emotional range so that they’ll be better equipped to deal with the ups and downs that will become a part of their lives as they grow older.

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However, if children are given the proper opportunities to practice and develop their creativity, as with any muscle in the human body, the trait will become stronger and feel more natural.

Minister Martin added:

I am particularly pleased to meet the artists in person for the announcement of the Award this year.  Each recognises the importance of acknowledging, understanding and highlighting the vital role played by women individually and collectively in our history.  I look forward to following the progress of the artists and the new work produced as an outcome of these awards – both elements will contribute to our collective discourse on the vital role of women in the campaign for independence and the 100 years since the Foundation of the State.

Creative expression is a vital outlet and resource for our society, in articulating contentious history and informing our present thinking and future aspirations.

Please find below some detail on the artists’ proposals for their award.

Artist/AwardeeArt FormProject/Development
Aoibheann, EmilyCircusExamine the cultural, environmental and social space between the artist and her paternal grandmother.

Explore personal distance from ‘vernacular living’ through Irish song and poetry traditions.

Engage other artists and mentors to explore these themes in music, dance and sculpture.

Brenan, ChloeFilmCreate a new film exploring Irish botanist Matilda C Knowles (1864-1933) and her research subject, lichens.

Synthesize multiple moving image formats in the piece.  Work with a botanist, composer and receive mentorship in interview filming / experimental 16mm animation.

Kearns, TaraVisual ArtsDocument and discuss the role of women in working class areas like the artist’s own community of Sherriff Street, by creating a series of collaborative works and conceptual works.  Discuss this group of women in particular as they have encountered specific challenges through the years up to the present.
McNulty, MargoVisual ArtsUncover objects relating to the lives of women during the Decade of Centenaries.

Create new work in response to these objects.

Transform the narrative about this historical period by creating new stories.

Moran, JanetTheatreDevelop a new theatre work, about revolutionary and musician Dilly Dicker that incorporates silent movies and original music through a period of research and mentorship.

Workshop with collaborators to create a first draft that honours Dilly’s undervalued contribution to Irish Independence.

Ní Dhuinnín, SiobhánDanceDevelop a new piece with expert collaborators using modern Irish poetry, contemporary dance and music.

Research the portrayal and lived embodied experience of women’s bodies in songs and poems as Gaeilge over the last 100 years.

Energise and enliven, through dance, this wealth of literary insight.

Ní Ghríofa, DoireannLiterature (English)Research and write a book that reveals an astonishing untold history, through the lives of the women who once lived within the walls of Cork District Lunatic Asylum prior to 1923. Develop the artist’s professional relationship with Cork Archive and Cork Public Museum.
O’Neill, JodyTheatreResearch the role of cis women and gender diverse women in the history and evolving terrain of disability advocacy in Ireland, supported by Rosaleen McDonagh, Katherine O’Donnell, Rhona Coughlan and Pamela McQueen.

Create a new play, based on this research.

Conclude with a 2-day development workshop.

Spillane-Hinks, AoifeOperaResearch Kilmainham Gaol archive material relating to female political prisoners in 1923.  Connect with community members through interviews and workshops. Collaborate with composer Stephen McNeff and conductor David Brophy in developing a vision for a live opera project at Kilmainham Gaol in autumn 2023.
Zdorovetska, OlesyaMusicCreate a new ambitious cross-disciplinary work celebrating O’Connor-Vilinska and Markievicz’s legacy.

Give voice to women to speak creatively for justice in the 21st century.

Bring together an exceptional Irish-Ukrainian female artists team to deliver this project at an international level.

Markievicz Award

Access Markievicz Award guidance and application portal – https://www.artscouncil.ie/Funds/Markievicz-Award/

Mná100

Mná100 is an initiative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Decade of Centenaries Programme 2012-2023 to raise awareness and deepen understanding of the role of women in our history, particularly their vital contribution during the Irish Revolutionary period, 1912-1923.

Access Mná100 – www.mna100.ie

Access Touchstone podcast – www.mna100.ie/centenary-moments/touchstone/

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