Silversmith Cara Murphy scoops £15,000 Rosy James Memorial Trust Award
An annual craft bursary, the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, worth up to £15,000, has been awarded to Cara Murphy, a silversmith from Northern Ireland whose work is held in the Silver Trust Collection at 10 Downing Street.
This unique bursary, administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Rosy James Trust, aims to assist craft makers to develop their careers by developing a body of work which might otherwise have been unattainable.
Cara, whose work is held in several private and public collections, including the Silver Trust Collection at 10 Downing Street, will use the funding to allow her the exploration and experimentation required to gain the necessary enamelling skills to develop and create a new substantial body of work. She will learn this enamelling technique from famed enamellist, Deirdre McCrory, who also happens to be Cara’s mother.
The Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, established in 2014, came about thanks to the generosity of Rosemary James (Rosy), a local pioneer and patron of the arts. Originally from Belfast, Rosy had a lifelong commitment to the arts and following her death in 2010, bequeathed over £500,000 to help artists and craft makers pursue their careers. The fund will award one bursary of up to £15,000 per year.
Commenting on the award Cara said, “Using traditional silversmithing techniques my work creates a silver landscape for the table which is influenced by the natural environment. The work has developed more recently to include elements of colour. I have been in the fortunate position that my mother, Deirdre McCrory, has added that colour through vitreous enamel to several works that I have created. I would like her to teach me to enamel and am delighted to have been awarded the Rosemary James Memorial Trust Award to allow this to happen.”
Noirin McKinney, Arts Development Director, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:
"Congratulations to Cara on being the third craft designer maker to receive the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award. Cara’s work is unique and extremely impressive. The level of skill required for her practice is of the highest order. By learning from the esteemed enamellist, Deirdre McCrory, Cara is ensuring artistic quality and a wealth of knowledge is transferred from one generation to the next and I wish her every success as she embarks on producing a new body of work using the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, a bursary which demonstrates the power of philanthropic giving in creating impact and leaving a lasting legacy.”
Alan Kane, Chief Executive of Craft NI, an organisation which supports and promotes the craft industry in Northern Ireland, added:
“It is wonderful to see a prestigious award such as this going to a silversmith who wishes to maintain and enhance skill levels and techniques that might otherwise be lost. As one of the best silversmiths currently working in Northern Ireland I am delighted to see Cara win this award.”