Arts Council Northern Ireland Honours Four Major Artists

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Four artists have each received the Arts Council Northern Ireland’s highest accolade, with £15,000 Major Individual Artist awards.

The recipients of the awards are honoured in recognition of their contribution to creative life in Northern Ireland.

  • Composer Professor Piers Hellawell. Professor Hellawell is a lecturer at Queen's University, Belfast. His performances have been broadcasted worldwide and he is a regular at Belfast festivals.
  • Playwright Shannon Sickels (Yee). Ms Sickels has received numerous awards from the Arts Council for her work in different genres, including the Arts and Disability Award.
  • Performance artist Sinéad O'Donnell. Ms O'Donnell has presented previously work in Belfast, London, Singapore and Tokyo.
  • Visual artist/filmmaker Mairéad McClean. Ms McClean has been producing screenings for film festivals across the world for a number of years. She was first represented in the Belfast Film Festival in 1999.

Roisin McDonough, Chief Executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, said:

“Congratulations to these four immensely talented artists who have already made an enormous contribution to the arts in Northern Ireland.  Each will benefit greatly from being able to take time out to concentrate purely on these innovative new projects with the financial backing they need to produce work of lasting value. This award will help to cement their national and international reputations as artists, and strengthen the positive cultural profile of Northern Ireland both home and abroad.”

The four join a distinguished list of artists who have previously benefited from the Major Individual Artist award including writers, Jimmy McAleavey, Anne Devlin, Carlo Gébler, Damian Gorman, Patricia Craig, Sinéad Morrissey, Glenn Patterson and Owen McCafferty; leading visual artists, Rita Duffy, Susan MacWilliam and Cara Murphy; celebrated composers, Ian Wilson, Elaine Agnew, Conor Mitchell, Deirdre McKay, acclaimed musicians including pianist, Michael McHale, jazz drummer, David Lyttle and choreographer, Oona Doherty.

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