Aosdána elects 12 new members

Today, Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland, elects 12 new members. The 12 newly elected members are: Kevin Barry (Literature); Gerard Byrne (Visual Art); Pat Collins (Visual Art); Jim Doherty (Music); Margo Harkin (Visual Art); Martin Lynch (Literature); Gina Moxley (Literature); Valerie Mulvin (Architecture); Mairead O’hEocha (Visual Art); Arthur Riordan (Literature); Liz Roche (Choreography); Jennifer Walshe (Music). This brings the membership to 249 members.

There is a tie between candidates for the last available place, a postal ballot will be arranged as soon as possible to decide the outcome for the final place.

We take this opportunity to remember the thirteen members who have passed away since last year’s General Assembly: Micky Donnelly; Ciaran Carson; Ulick O’Connor; Tom MacIntyre; Sonja Landweer; Veronica Bolay; Joe Steve O’Neachtain; Janet Mullarney; Tim Robinson; Michael Cullen; Eric Sweeney; Eugene McCabe; Derek Mahon.

New member biographies:

Kevin Barry (Literature) Kevin Barry is a writer based in County Sligo. He is the author of Night Boat to Tangier, Beatlebone; City of Bohane and the short story collections Dark Lies the Island and There are Little Kingdoms. Awards include O Henry Prize (2017); Lannan Foundation Literary Award (2016); The IMPAC Dublin International Literary Award (2013); the Rooney Prize (2007); the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award 2012 amongst others. City of Bohane was short-listed for the Costa First Novel Award and the Irish Book Award and won the Author’s Club Best First Novel Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature and IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harpers, Tin House, Granta, The Dublin Review, The Stinging Fly, Best European Fiction and many other publications. Barry was long listed for the 2019 Booker Prize Award for Night Boat to Tangier. He writes screenplays, radio plays and for the theatre. His work has been translated into 16 languages.

Gerard Byrne (Visual Art) Born 1969, Dublin, Gerard Byrne is a visual artist working in film and photography. With a vast catalogue of works spanning 25 years Byrne has exhibited at many international events and in Ireland: Skulptur Projekte Muenster (2017); Documenta 13; 54th Venice Biennale; Biennials in Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon and Instanbul; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Recent solo exhibitions include Secession, Vienna (2019); ACCA, Melbourne (2016); Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011); IMMA (2011). In 2007 he represented Ireland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. In 2006 he received the Paul Hamlyn Award. He is represented by Lisson Gallery internationally, Kerlin Gallery in Dublin and the Nordenhake Gallery, Stockholm. He has held professorships at the art academies of Copenhagen (2007-16) and currently at the Staedelschule, Frankfurt.

Pat Collins (Visual Art) Pat Collins, a film-maker with a long and distinguished body of work, has made over 30 films since 1999. Works include the feature film Songs of Granite (2017), a portrait of Joe Heaney. Other portrait films include; A Private World (2004), portrait of John McGahern; Tim Robinson: Connemara, (2011) a portrait of Tim Robinson and Taibhsi i mBeal Na Gaoithe, (2007) on Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. His work is supported by The Irish Film Board, RTÉ, BBC, Telefilm Canada and PBS among others. Collins was co-director of the 3 part series 1916. The series was broadcast on RTÉ, BBC and PBS in America. His award winning feature film Silence 2012 received its international premiere at London International Film Festival in 2013 and was distributed in Irish cinemas by Element Distribution, by New Wave Films in the UK and was also broadcast on RTÉ 1. He has directed two political feature essay films What We Leave in Our Wake (2009) and Living in a Coded Land (2014). In 2012, the Irish Film Institute curated a mid-career retrospective of his work. Collins has made a series of short experimental film works: Pilgrim (2008), What Remains (2013) and Twilight (2017). His experimental film work has screened at the Absolute Gallery at Galway Arts Festival 2013, at the ICA London, at Recontres Internationales London/Berlin, Visual Carlow and numerous Irish and international film festivals. His latest feature documentary Henry Glassie: Fieldwork premiered at TIFF in 2019 and is due to be released in Autumn 2020.

Jim Doherty (Music) Jim Doherty is a composer and one of Ireland’s most highly regarded jazz musicians, who has been active in Ireland and abroad since the early 1960’s leading trios, quartets & big bands. He has been at the forefront of the jazz scene in Ireland for more than 50 years. Born in 1939 Doherty began composing and performing in the early ‘60’s together with the late Louis Stewart and Noel Kelehan. He has written music for stage, radio, TV, dance, film and orchestra, and performed with some of the most famous luminaries of the music scene worldwide including Gerry Mulligan and Ray Charles. Current projects include composing music for choir, to be performed in Ireland in 2020; a request by the Norwegian Jazz Society to arrange Joycenotes for symphony orchestra with jazz soloists and narrator; a composition for wind ensemble from Brown University, Rhode Island USA to be completed this year. Most recently Doherty has written new music for the play Trad, which will tour Ireland in 2020; composed music for three original songs for a new recording by vocalist Susannah de Wrixon for voice, jazz quartet and string quartet and is also currently writing two pieces for inclusion on a recording by jazz trumpeter Bobby Shew to be recorded in LA 2020.

Margo Harkin (Visual Art) Margo Harkin is a filmmaker based In Derry. After graduating in Fine Art Harkin worked as a teacher and art tutor before joining Field Day Theatre Company in Derry in 1980 during a highly volatile period in Northern Ireland’s political landscape. The experience had an influence on Margo’s future direction as a filmmaker.  She has been an award-winning Director and Producer since 1984 when she co-founded the Channel 4 Workshop Derry Film & Video. Her first drama, ‘Hush-A-Bye Baby’ won The Ecumenical Prize at the Locarno Film Festival before garnering several other international awards. In 1992 she formed Besom Productions where her work spanned many genres from feature documentary to drama. Acclaimed films include the documentaries ‘12 Days in July’ about the Drumcree dispute in Portadown and ‘The Hunger Strike’ made on the 25th anniversary of the 1981 Irish hunger strike. Over 12 years from 1998 she made ‘Bloody Sunday – A Derry Diary’ which was nominated for the Prix Europa and screened on ZDF / Arte and RTÉ. In 2008 she produced the visually stunning ‘Waveriders’. Its many awards featured the Audience Award at the Dublin International Film Festival and the Irish Film and Television George Morrison inaugural award for Best Irish Feature Documentary. In 2019 Margo was the first recipient of the Docs Ireland Festival Award for Outstanding Contribution to Irish Documentary. ‘Hush-A-Bye Baby’ and ‘Waveriders’ were named among the 50 Best Irish films ever made by Irish Times critics Tara Brady and Donald Clarke on 2 May 2020.

Martin Lynch (Literature) Martin Lynch was born and brought up in the docks area of Belfast. His career spans over 30 years, from resident playwright at The Lyric Theatre, Belfast in 1980 to 1988 to the present day with Lynch continuing as an active playwright. Works include celebrated landmark productions such as Dockers (1981); The Interrogation of Ambrose Fogarty (1982); Lay Up Your Ends (1983-1985) (co-written with Marie Jones & Charabanc Theatre Company) amongst many others, including most recently 1932 – The People Of Gallagher Street (2017) co-written with Gary Mitchell; We’ll Walk Hand In Hand (2018); The Miami Showband Story (2019) (co-written with Marie Jones). As well as writing for the stage, Lynch has written several plays for BBC Radio 4 and a screenplay A Prayer ForThe Dying for Sam Goldwyn Films. Lynch is recognised as a pioneer of theatre in the community and has written many plays in collaboration with communities, creating a unique mix of professional and community participation.

Gina Moxley (Literature) Gina Moxley is an award winning playwright based in Dublin. Moxley has written 18 plays over 30 years along with short stories and essays. Her theatre plays include The Crumb Trail for Pan Pan Theatre; Map of M: Revised for Contovento, Rome; A Heart of Cork for Cork Capital of Culture; Tea Set for Fishamble Theatre; Danti-Dan for Rough Magic (Winner of Stewart Parker Award 1996); Dog House for National Connections, UK; Toupees and Snare Drums for Coisceim /Abbey Theatre. Her most recent play The Patient Gloria was co-produced by the Abbey Theatre in association with Pan Pan Theatre for the Dublin Theatre Festival 2018. At Edinburgh Fringe 2019 it played at the Traverse theatre and won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel. Moxley has written plays for Rough Magic; Fishamble; National Connections UK; CoisCeim Dance Theatre and Pan Pan Theatre. She has been a dramaturge on several productions including Spliced by Timmy Creed, My Magnetic North by Gary Coyle, How to Keep an Alien by Sonya Kelly and Solpadeine is My Boyfriend by Stefanie Preissner. Moxley has had numerous radio plays broadcast and has published several short stories. Radio plays include Cuts, Marrying Dad, Physical Geography, The Candidate and Swans Cross.

Valerie Mulvin (Architecture) Valerie Mulvin graduated from UCD School of Architecture before going on to further study in Rome and at Trinity College Dublin. In 1987 she worked with Niall McCullough on ‘A Lost tradition: The Nature of Architecture in Ireland’ Gandon 1987 a seminal work exploring typology and history through Ireland’s traditional buildings. Mulvin went on to found, with Niall McCullough: McCullough Mulvin Architects, a collaborative, experimental practice, balancing research with built projects. She was a founder member of the Group 91 umbrella of architects who won the Temple Bar Framework Plan competition and worked on several projects in the quarter- particularly Temple Bar Gallery and Studios and the Black Church Print Studios. Mulvin has been a key participant in the evolving renaissance in Irish architectural culture from 1990 to present day. Throughout her career she explores relationships between contemporary art and architecture. Selected buildings include Thapar Student Residencies, Punjab, India, 2018; Beaufort Maritime and Energy Research Laboratory, Ringaskiddy, Cork 2017; Waterford Fire Station, Kilbarry Road, Waterford 2016; Blackrock Further Education Institute and Public Library 2015; Irish Architecture Foundation, Dublin; Trinity Long Room Hub and James USSHER Library, Trinity College. Her work is exhibited widely in Europe Asia and America including Mies van der Rohe Awards Barcelona (shortlisted 2019); Displaced Longitude at Sao Beno Metro Station (Portugal 2017); CEPT Ahmedabad, (India 2019); Open House (Dublin 2019); Geology/Biology Czech Architecture Festival 2016 amongst many others. Her work is extended by publications, teaching, lecturing and research.

Mairead O’hEocha (Visual Art) Born in Dublin, Mairead O’hEocha holds an MA in Fine Art from Goldsmith’s London and a BA in Fine Art from NCAD. Having lived for some years in London she now lives in Dublin. Her work is recognised for her paintings which focus on the subject of Ireland, featuring the road and its margins as a stream of visual codes tracing Ireland’s hidden histories through landscape and architecture. Recent solo exhibitions include Irises in the Well, mother’s tankstation, London, UK (2018); Blackbirds in the Garden of Prisms, mother’s tankstation limited, Dublin (2016); Gallery 2, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2014). Group exhibitions include Slow Painting, Hayward Gallery, UK (2019); Recent exhibitions include Shaping Ireland, Landscapes in Irish Art, National Gallery of Ireland (2019); A Painter’s Doubt: Painting & Phenomenology, Salzburger Kunstverein (2017); Douglas Hyde Gallery 2, (2014); Via an Lár, Douglas Hyde, Gallery 1, (2011); Coup de Ville Contemporary Art Festival, WARP, SintNiklaas, Belgium, (2116); Forecast of the next century, Lewis Glucksman Gallery, Cork, Broad Art Museum, Michigan (2016).

Arthur Riordan (Literature) Playwright Arthur Riordan has been writing for theatre and radio for 30 years. His work is rooted in contemporary radical politics and recent history. Major works have been produced by Rough Magic Theatre Company, of whom he is a founding member and Associate Artist. Riordan’s writing includes the stage adaptation of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for Rough Magic; the libretto for Andrew Synnott’s Dubliners for Opera Theatre Company; The Train, for Rough Magic, music by Bill Whelan; a radio play, Love Me?! for RTE; an adaptation of Peer Gynt for Rough Magic, music by Tarab; Slattery’s Sago Saga for The Performance Corporation; Improbable Frequency for Rough Magic, music by Bell Helicopter; a one-man show, The Emergency Session, also for Rough Magic, and two collaborations with Des Bishop: Rap Éire for Bickerstaffe, and Shooting Gallery for Bedrock Productions.

Liz Roche (Choreography) Liz Roche is co-founder and Artistic Director of Dublin based dance company Liz Roche Company. Company-in-residence (2017 – 2019) at Dublin Dance Festival and the Civic Theatre Tallaght, the company has produced and toured over 20 of her works, performing throughout Ireland and internationally at prestigious venues and festivals including the Baryshnikov Arts Centre New York, South Bank Centre London, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Meet in Beijing Festival and Powerhouse Brisbane. Recent commissions include I/Thou for Cork Opera House in partnership with Sirius Arts Centre which saw a major new production for the Opera House stage inspired by the work of visual artist Brian O’Doherty/Patrick Ireland; The Here Trio for Maiden Voyage Belfast and Naher… closer, nearer, sooner, for Goethe-Institut Ireland for the opening of their newly refurbished building on Merrion Square. In 2017 the company presented Totems for the National Gallery of Ireland and Dublin Dance Festival. In 2016 Liz directed Embodied, a series of 5 choreographed female proclamations for the Dublin Dance Festival, commissioned by An Post/GPO for their 2016 celebrations. In 2015 the company premiered Bastard Amber, commissioned by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin Dance Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival. Between 2009 and 2012 Roche was choreographer-in-residence at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance at University Limerick, and is a former recipient of Peter Darrell Choreographic Award, Bonnie Bird UK New Choreography Award and the Dublin Fringe Festival’s Jane Snow Award. Her work in opera and theatre includes choreographies for Irish National Opera, Wexford Festival Opera, National Opera of Korea, Rossini Opera Festival & Liceu Barcelona, Opernhaus Zurich, Opera de Nice and Opera Ireland, The Abbey Theatre, The Gate Theatre and for Landmark Productions, The Ark Children’s Theatre and The Lyric Theatre Belfast.

Jennifer Walshe (Music) Composer Jennifer Walshe, born in Dublin, studied composition with John Maxwell Geddes at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Kevin Volans in Dublin and graduated from Northwestern University, Chicago, with a doctoral degree in composition in June 2002. Her music has been commissioned, broadcast and performed all over the world. She has produced groundbreaking works such as XXX_Live_Nude_Girls (2003) her opera for Barbie dolls and ensemble; The Procedure for Smoothing Air (2005) for Crash Ensemble; Everything is important (2016) for the Arditti Quartet, Jennifer Walshe (voice) and film; Sites of an Investigation (2018) for voice and orchestra, and invented a historical Irish avant-garde culture in her Grúpat series. She has been the recipient of fellowships and prizes from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York; the DAAD Berliner Künstlerprogramm; the Internationales Musikinstitut, Darmstadt and Akademie Schloss Solitude amongst others. In 2008 she was awarded the Praetorius Music Prize for Composition by the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur. In 2016 she was awarded the BASCA British Composer Award for Innovation. Walshe was elected to the Akademie der Künste, Germany in 2019. She is currently Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Stuttgart. Walshes’ work is available on many labels including Mere Records, Interval Recordings, Farpoint Recordings and Migro, including her second solo Album All the Many Peoples (2019). Recent commissions include Tri Amhran (2019) for voice and piano, commissioned by the Irish Language Art Song Project 2019; Time Time Time (2019), opera for 9 performers, commissioned by Sonic Acts (Netherlands), Borealis (Norway), Maerzmusik (Germany), Ultima (Norway) and London Contemporary Music Festival/Serpentine Gallery; Ukultrachunk (2018) for voice and neural network, commissioned by Somerset House Studios, London; The Site of an Investigation (2018) for voice and orchestra, commissioned by RTÉ for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.