Tuesday 23 July 2019

Glass is half full for artist Sinead after bursary award

Gorey’s Sinéad Brennan presenting with her colourful and unique glass works after winning a€10,000 craft awards bursary
Gorey’s Sinéad Brennan presenting with her colourful and unique glass works after winning a€10,000 craft awards bursary

Cathy Lee

Glass artist Sinéad Brennan from Gorey was one of five emerging Irish craftspeople to be awarded a €10,000 RDS craft awards bursary for the development of their craft and business skills at the RDS members' club in Dublin.

'It's a huge chunk of money so I'm going to use it in a few different areas. I want to make new work and then I hope to have a solo exhibition. I'm also looking at doing a glass engraving course in Germany, and learning more about glass cutting from a master cutter in Waterford Crystal,' said Sinéad.

'I'm grateful for the opportunity and I look forward to using the award to aid my creative projects and artistic development,' she said.

Having completed her artistic portfolio while studying in Gorey Community School, she said that her teachers there were a big influence in her pursing art and finding herself going into teaching.

'The teachers in Gorey Community School were a big inspiration and always were very encouraging,' she said.

Sinéad is a daughter to Liam Brennan of Liam Brennan Hardware, and with all of her family involved in the business, Gorey is still a big part of her life.

In 2013, Sinéad showcased her work at Gorey Civic Square as part of Offspring, which showcased Gorey's emerging artists and designers.

Just six years later, Sinéad is now based in Dublin and works as an art teacher part time, and she studied Art and Design History and Craft Design at the National College of Art and Design, also receiving a professional education diploma from the university in 2014.

Sinéad serves on the Board of the Glass Society of Ireland and is co-founder of Glint Glass Studio, an open access studio.

She has exhibited her work both across the country and internationally and this is not her first time to win a supportive award.

Just last year, Sinéad was awarded €1,000 from the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland in its future makers awards and supports, one of the largest prize funded award programmes in Europe for students and emerging makers.

'My work has evolved through my research of how women's positions in Western society have been constructed through concepts of female empowerment, objectification and suppression. I have contextualised these ideas with the use of iconography, symbolism and textual materials, each denoting specific male and female societal roles,' she said.

The bursaries were presented following an examination of work and an interview process to give financial support at a critical time in their developing professional career.

The funds can be spent on further education and training, research and development, mentoring, purchase of equipment, studio improvements, technology, their website and residencies.

Gorey Guardian