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Stone sculptor, Sheena Devitt, receives £15,000 Rosy James Memorial Trust craft award

Friday 21st December 2018 at 10am 0 Comments Visual Arts

Pictured is Sheena Devitt with Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Image: Pictured is Sheena Devitt with Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Stone sculptor, Sheena Devitt, from Killyleagh, County Down, has been awarded the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, an annual craft bursary worth £15,000. The bursary, administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland on behalf of the Rosy James Memorial Trust, aims to assist craft makers to develop their professional careers by developing a new body of work which might otherwise have been unattainable.

Sheena Devitt carves into stone and slate to create site specific sculptural artworks and her designs are inspired by and respond to a site’s topography and history, its orientation and present inhabitants. Her process of designing the sculptures starts with layers of drawings on paper and the transferred design takes on a new life as the work moves from a graphic image to a sculptural piece about shape, texture and light.

Sheena’s training in drawing and painting, combined with a one to one apprenticeship in stone letter carving, has given the artist an excellent grounding in using drawing to develop ideas, and the ability to practice a very specific craft to a high level.  Many of her works are sited permanently in private gardens, interiors and public spaces in both the UK and USA.

Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented:

"Congratulations to Sheena Devitt on receiving the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award.   This notable artist’s work is very impressive, requiring great skill and it has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.  I wish Sheena every success as she embarks upon producing new works using the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award, a bursary which demonstrates the true power of philanthropic giving.”

Commenting on the award Sheena Devitt said,

“I’m delighted to receive the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award which will enable me to take my artistic practice in a new direction.   With this award I plan to combine hand working and stone machining processes.  I will collaborate with a leading stone machining specialist to design and develop a new range of limited edition marble lighting to add warmth and texture to interior spaces, for distribution in the UK and international markets.  My designs will be based upon my own drawings which are inspired by patterns formed by the movement of water and wind across the landscape and seascape of Strangford Lough.”

With this award the artist plans to collaborate with renowned, award-winning stone specialists, S McConnell & Sons Ltd, Northern Ireland.  Visit

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