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TUS Lecturer Receives Prestigious Countess Markievicz Award for Artists

Visual artist Margo McNulty awarded €25K bursary to develop art highlighting the role of women in Irish history

TUS lecturer Margo McNulty has been named a recipient of this year’s Decade of Centenaries Markievicz Award for artists.

Margo McNulty, visual artist and lecturer at the Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone Campus, named a Markievicz Award recipient for 2022. She is pictured with Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin, TD. (Photo: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland)

The Markievicz Award, which honours Constance Markievicz – the first woman to hold a cabinet post in Ireland, supports artists who want to develop their craft and produce art commemorating the role of women during the Irish Revolutionary period.

Margo McNulty, a lecturer in design at the Technological University of the Shannon, Athlone Campus, and a visual artist specialising in printmaking, photography and painting, is one of 10 recipients of this year’s award.

“I am delighted to be a 2022 recipient of the prestigious Markievicz Award. I am honoured to receive this national recognition, and I look forward to engaging with the research and the making of the work during the coming months to realise the full potential of this exciting project,” she said.

Each Markievicz Award recipient will receive €25,000 to develop a new body of work; Ms McNulty’s is due to be exhibited in Kilmainham Gaol Museum next year.

By uncovering objects relating to the lives of women during the Decade of Centenaries, she will create new work and transform the narrative about this historical period by creating new stories.

Influenced by traditions inherent in Irish culture, Ms McNulty’s work to date has focussed on the intersection of personal and public histories and how these histories and meanings can be embedded in material objects.

She has exhibited widely in Ireland, Sweden, Poland and the UK and has taken part in a number of Irish and international residencies, with works residing in major collections nationally.

“On behalf of all at TUS, I wish to congratulate Margo McNulty on receiving this illustrious award. Women like Countess Markievicz played a hugely significant role in the Irish Revolution; this eponymous award will allow for their stories to be illuminated and retold through a variety of mediums, including visual arts, inspiring future generations and commemorating an important moment in Irish history,” TUS President Prof. Vincent Cunnane said.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin affirmed the award’s importance “as we work to renew, restore and support the working environment for artists” post pandemic and said she looked forward to seeing each recipient’s progress and the work produced as an outcome of the award.

“Both elements will contribute to our collective discourse on the vital role of women in the campaign for independence and the 100 years since the foundation of the State,” she said, adding, “Creative expression is a vital outlet and resource for our society, in articulating contentious history and informing our present thinking and future aspirations.”

The full list of recipients for 2022 include artists Margo McNulty, visual arts; Doireann Ní Ghríofa, literature; Chloe Brenan, Film; Tara Kearns, visual arts; Janet Moran, theatre; Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, dance; Emily Aoibheann, circus; Jody O’Neill, theatre; Aoife Spillane-Hinks, opera; and Olesya Zdorovetska, music.

The 10 artists join the 20 artists already in receipt of the award since it was inaugurated in 2019.

The Markievicz Award is administered by the Arts Council on behalf of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.