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Glass artist Laura Quinn announced as winner of RDS Irish Craft Bursary 2022

Posted 05.08.2022
Press Releases

The €10,000 bursary is managed by Design & Crafts Council Ireland and open to makers in its PORTFOLIO programme

Design & Crafts Council Ireland (DCCI) is delighted to announce glass artist, Laura Quinn, as the recipient of this year’s RDS Irish Craft Bursary 2022. The €10,000 bursary, managed by DCCI and open to makers in its PORTFOLIO programme, was presented to Laura at the opening of the Conjuring Form exhibition at the National Design & Craft Gallery on Friday, 5th August by Niamh De Loughry, Deputy Chief Executive RDS Foundation.

The RDS Irish Craft Bursary may be used for a wide range of career and professional development activities such as further education and training; research; development of new work; mentoring; purchase of equipment; studio improvements; technology; websites and residencies. Each year the judges look for proposals demonstrating how the award could help develop a maker’s practice and career, as well as being of benefit to Irish craft.

Glass artist, Laura Quinn, originally from Co. Mayo, intends to use the funding to undertake a year long, ambitious project to develop and publicly document a new series of work. Commencing in late Autumn 2022, this project will involve the development of a new series of blown and lampworked sculptural glass pieces that further explore her research into audience interactive glass art.

Laura, who works as the Glass Technical Tutor at the University for the Creative Arts in the UK, creates interactive sculptural glass forms which encourage close human engagement to challenge the perceived restraints of glass. The forms she creates are modular, often composed of hundreds of meticulously handmade glass components combined with alternative materials and processes to create moveable, durable frameworks.

Speaking about the bursary, recipient Laura Quinn said: I couldn’t believe when I was told I was this year’s recipient of the RDS Bursary. The bursary will help me considerably at a pivotal point in my career. Juggling a full-time job as an educator and my glass career means that time is the biggest challenge I face. The RDS Bursary will allow me to take time out from my role as an educator to focus on the creation of a new body of work, including attending a glass masterclass in America to continue to hone my skills. Receiving the bursary is recognition of the years I have dedicated to my craft, but it is also a huge boost of confidence that tells me I am going in the right direction.”

CEO of DCCI, Rosemary Steen added: “Congratulations to Laura Quinn, a very worthy winner of the RDS Craft Bursary as her work so eloquently embodies modern craft and design – innovation, beauty, craftsmanship and sustainability. Design & Crafts Council Ireland is delighted to collaborate with the RDS on the Irish Craft Bursary again this year. We are very proud to support Irish craft and design and continue to champion makers by encouraging new work and growth. The level of excellence and originality demonstrated by Ireland’s makers testifies to their passion and commitment to their disciplines. It is in our interest as national bodies and as individuals to increasingly nourish their commitment and creativity as it has proven to so significantly benefit our economy, society and culture.”

RDS CEO Geraldine Ruane said: Our relationship with Design & Crafts Council Ireland is important to us in the RDS. While our programmes may have changed and developed over the years, both organisations share core ideals and the ambition to celebrate and support Ireland’s outstanding craft makers. The RDS current craft programme includes three different components: the RDS Craft Awards, RDS Branchardière Lace Bursary and the RDS Irish Craft Bursary – all of which involve partnerships with Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. Sincere congratulations to Laura Quinn the 2022 winner of the RDS Irish Craft Bursary, who will use the money to make a new body of work and attend a master class in the USA’.

Previous winners of RDS Irish Craft Bursary include Cara Murphy (silver) Edmond Byrne (glass) and Seliena Coyle (jewellery). They have used the bursary to fund projects which have enabled them to push boundaries and make innovative strides in their disciplines. The 2022 competition was judged by curator and exhibition maker Alice Stori Liechtenstein, freelance curator, exhibition & retail consultant Gregory Parsons, and National Museum of Ireland curator, Jennifer Goff Alice Stori Liechtenstein, is a writer, design critic and curator. Alice is the founder of Schloss Hollenegg for Design, an international project based in Austria which supports design culture by offering an exhibition platform and residency programme to young emerging designers. Dr Jennifer Goff, is Curator of the Eileen Gray collection, Furniture, and Musical Instruments, National Museum of Ireland and was appointed as the judging representative on behalf of the RDS. Finally, Gregory Parsons is a freelance curator, exhibition & retail consultant working in the applied arts with over 20 years experience in the world of craft and design.


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