Fingal Graduate Award Winner 2017

Visual Artist Róisín McGannon has been awarded the Fingal County Council Arts with Block T Graduate Studio Award 2017.

Róisín McGannon is a visual artist based in Dublin who will be graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Fine Art from NCAD this month. According to Róisín, her work explores “the acute knowingness we have of our bodies, a causality brought by the activation of the body in space. It attempts to uncover the power balance between the physical and psychological state of being in the body.”

The Graduate Studio Award winner is awarded with a year’s residence at Block T Studios in Dublin 8, home to many creative events and workshops. Then, at the end of the year, they will have their own solo exhibition; a fantastic opportunity for graduating artists.

Róisín is determined make the most out of her studio space for the year.

“It’s one of few opportunities for graduates, so it is very much needed and valued,” she said.

When asked what her plans will be for the studio space, Róisín said she plans to explore projects she never had the chance to throughout her time in NCAD.

“My first step is to look back on the work I made during my final year in college, evaluate and critique it, see what worked and what didn’t. I hope to explore thoughts that had to be put on the back burner due to time constraints, to build up a solid body of work. I’ll continue to apply to open calls, hopefully invite curators to discuss my work and bring what I’ve learnt to the show at the end of my time here.”

The project that won Róisín the award was her degree show in NCAD titled ‘The Insidious Nature of Honey’. The show consisted of an immersive installation made of UV sensitive perspex, a video piece and large scale digital prints.

Fingal Award 2

Róisín put an immense amount of time and energy into her show to make it what it was and her efforts were rewarded.

“I spent the entire year working on a self directed brief. My work is heavily supported by philosophical theory so I spent the first half of the year reading and researching what area of interest I wanted to explore and how to do that in a visual way. The second half of the year was testing and testing, really narrowing things down to be quite specific and then fine tuning that,” she explained.

When asked for advice for future graduates hoping to win this award or others, Róisín said applying for them all is key.

“I think when you’re in college you should be aware of the opportunities and awards and definitely apply for them all whether you think you’re able or not, but don’t let them distract or dictate the work. Make the work you need to make, not the work you think you should make. That’s what stands out to people.”

The Graduate Award is awarded by Sarah O’Neill, the Deputy Arts Officer at Fingal County Council and Chris Cullen, Director of Block T Studios. Graduating artists who live, work, or study in Fingal are invited to apply for the award.

You can visit Róisín’s website or follow her on Instagram @RoisinMcGannon.

By Jenna Cox

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