International Women’s Day 2018
In celebration of International Women’s Day the Arts Council has picked out just a few of the many talented women we have supported and worked with in the past year…
Una Monaghan has been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s ACES (Artist Career Enhancement Scheme) to release her new album of experimental harp. It is totally unique and a great example of electronics through the lens of traditional music. www.unamonaghan.com
Pádraigín Ní Uallachaín
Pádraigín Ní Uallachaín, a well-known multi-talented scholar, composer and performer was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Traditional Music Award at the 2018 TG4 Gradam Ceoil Awards.
Ruth McCarthy is the talented Artistic Director of the Outburst Queer Arts Festival, the leading annual celebration of queer art and performance in Northern Ireland. The festival showcases outstanding local and international queer work, supporting the development of queer arts at home and abroad. www.outburstarts.com
Shannon Yee is a current recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s prestigious Major Individual Award, worth, £15,000, towards a new work. Shannon Yee’s new work entitled, Starf*cker, is informed by astronomy, popular culture, psychology, and Greek mythology and pushes the boundaries of how theatre is made and presented.
Visual artists and filmmaker Mairéad McClean is also a current recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s prestigious Major Individual Award, worth, £15,000, towards a new work. Mairéad’s new work entitled, Making Her Mark, is a new body of moving image and sound work which addresses the concept of borders from the perspective of the individual, set in rich political, historical, geographical and personal landscapes.
Nisha Tandon, OBE
Nisha Tandon is the founder and Director of Arts Ekta. Over the last decade she has developed ArtsEkta from a voluntary initiative run from her home to one of Northern Ireland's leading and most recognised arts charities. In June 2014, Nisha was the first Asian women from Northern Ireland to be awarded the prestigious UK Asian Women of Achievement Award for contribution to arts and culture, and later that month was awarded an OBE for services to the minority ethnic sector in the 2014 Queen's Honours List. www.artsekta.org
Myra Zepf is a children’s author and the first ever Children's Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland. Based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, she is on a sworn mission to inspire kids to write their own stories. The Children’s Writing Fellow is a prestigious new position created in honour of Seamus Heaney and his contribution to literature. A joint-initiative by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s, the role is one of a number of projects created by the two organisations to ensure the legacy of the Nobel Prize-winning poet, and to inspire and support current and future generations of creative writing talent.
Poet Sinéad Morrissey has published five collections of poetry: There Was Fire in Vancouver (1996), Between Here and There (2001), The State of the Prisons (2005), Through the Square Window (2009), and "Parallax" the second, third and fourth of which were shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2017 she published her sixth collection On Balance.
She won the Patrick Kavanagh Poetry Award in 1990. Her collection, The State of the Prisons, was shortlisted for the Poetry Now Award in 2006. The same collection won the Michael Hartnett Poetry Prize in 2005. In November 2007, she received a Lannan Foundation Fellowship for "distinctive literary merit and for demonstrating potential for continued outstanding work". Her poem "Through the Square Window" won first prize in the 2007 British National Poetry Competition. Her collection, Through the Square Window, won the Poetry Now Award for 2010.
In January 2014 Morrissey won the T.S. Eliot Prize for her fifth collection Parallax and in September 2017 Morrissey's sixth collection On Balance was awarded the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection.
Sinead O’Donnell is a performance artist and current recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Major Individual Artist Award. The award will enable Sinead to create a new body of work, captured through photography and video that will take place in three countries in Latin America. The work relates to females in their own landscape and Sinead will work with curators in Latin America to create an international exhibition of high profile art, placing performance art and disability in the mainstream contemporary arts scene. The final work will be presented in 2018 at Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown and will then tour to Berlin, Istanbul and Bangkok as well as the artist’s hometown of Tallaght in Dublin, at the RUA Red Gallery.
West-Belfast based poet Natasha Cuddington has been announced as the recipient of the 2017 Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary. The bursary is awarded annually to a poet of promise and enables the recipient to reside for a period of four weeks at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, an artists’ retreat in Annaghmakerrig, Co. Monaghan. Natasha has been supported throughout her career by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland under the Support for Individual Artists Scheme. In 2011 she was presented with an ACES Award from the Arts Council, a mentoring programme designed to help artists develop their career potential.
Derry woman Fiona Umetsu is the lady behind the O-Bon Festival, an annual celebration of Japanese culture which takes place in Derry –Londonderry. Fiona also runs a Ibuki Taiko drumming group, holding classes and workshops for all ages
Choreographer and dancer, Oona Doherty, is a former recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Major Individual Award. The award enabled Oona to complete a new work entitled, Hard to Be Soft – A Belfast Prayer, created in collaboration DJ David Holmes, which was premiered at the 2017 Belfast International Arts Festival. www.oonadohertyweb.com/hard-to-be-soft
Raquel McKee is an actress and writer who is currently starring in Kabosh’s Lives in Translation. Raquel is also a current of an Arts Council of Northern Ireland Support for the Individual Artist Award. www.kabosh.net
Rosemary Jenkinson is a poet and playwright from Belfast. Her play, Lives in Translation, is currently on tour with Kabosh theatre company www.kabosh.net