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July 13, 2010

Prestigious Award for Kildare Artist John O'Connell

Kildare born artist John O’Connell has been announced as the recipient of this year’s Location One Fellowship award by the Arts Council of Ireland.

Location One is a not-for-profit art centre in New York devoted to convergence between visual, performing and digital arts. It operates an international residency programme where emerging and established artists can experiment with new forms of artistic expression. The Arts Council offers an annual fellowship to one artist to facilitate his/her participation in the international residency programme at Location One for 10 months, in order to develop his/her practice and create new work. In addition to the studio space, support and resources provided through Location One, the fellowship includes accommodation and a monthly stipend. The overall value of the award is in the region of €40,000.

The Visitor @ Riverbank

John O’Connell’s work was recently exhibited at Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge. The Visitor, an installation of projections, film, sound and drawings by John O’Connell, ran from June 10 until July 1st and the artist himself was present at the opening of the exhibition. John’s work involves an interest in cycles of time, the study of cosmology and curves into unknown worlds of dreams, fantasy and the supernatural.  He develops his initial ideas by combining a number of processes and approaches but usually it starts with a drawing.  Through drawing, the characters, structures and landscapes are visualized and teased out.  The form and composition of these miniature worlds begins to materialise populated with strange and unusual objects.  John then merges this process with film, projection and sculptural installations to give the viewer the full experience of his altered environments and spaces.

All at Riverbank Arts Centre wish to congratulate John on this prestigious and highly deserved award, and wish him the very best for his future endeavours.

John holds an MA from the Royal College of Art, London and a BA from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.  He has exhibited extensively in Europe, Ireland and in the USA employing a variety of working methods from drawing to sculpture and film. John O’Connell’s recent projects include: The Visitor, Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge (2010); Material Worlds-Contemporary sculpture from Ireland and the UK, F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Northern Ireland (2010); Clear Skies Above, SIM House, Reykjavík, (2010); Nothing Matters When Your Dancing, Stiftung Starke, Berlin (2009); Futures 09, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin (2009); Big Pink,  Goethe Institute, Dublin (2009); and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Berlin (2009).

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