Our First Solo Award offers support and funding at a key point in the careers of professional visual artists in the North East region who have yet to present a solo show. Previous recipients include Eimear Murphy, with her exhibition Shape, Heap; thing in 2018, and Sean McGuill, with The Great Filter in 2019.
For 2021/22 we are delighted to announce the recipients are Olga Duka and Rodney Thornton. We look forward to working with both artists.
Olga Duka is a Ukrainian artist living and working in Ireland. She graduated from Kiev College of Decorative Arts and Design in 1997 as a Textile Artist and Designer. She has been working as a freelance artist specialising in fine and decorative arts as well as tapestry making and textile design. Olga expresses her own trans-cultural background through a unique combination of styles that is reminiscent of medieval art. Olga’s work has featured in group exhibitions in Ireland, Great Britain, Italy and Ukraine. Her paintings are represented in private collections in Ireland, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, France, Japan, Mexico, USA and Ukraine. Olga recently participated in the Connection project at Droichead. Olga’s exhibition will open in September 2021.
Rodney Thornton has been making paintings on the street since returning from Korea in 2008. The local sweet shop, the ice-cream van arriving on the street corner and the deep culture resting around the local GAA pitch, these are scenes which take place in every community across Ireland and they are some of the themes that turn up in Rodney’s paintings. Rodney’s work has featured in many group exhibitions including; the Boyne Room, Millmount; The Listoke Gallery; The Abbey Gallery, and as part of the Borrowed Ground Collective in 2019 in Droichead. Rodney’s current art practice is about looking and exploring how we receive our surroundings. Rodney’s exhibition will open in March 2022.