2022 Bursary Winners & Graduate BAN Members

Backwater Artists Group is thrilled to announce our 2022 Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary and one Moving Image Bursary winners following a competitive application process. Wishing a huge congratulations to Helen Cantwell, winner of the Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary, and Myfanwy Frost-Jones, winner of the Backwater Moving Image Bursary.

We also welcome six new members to our Backwater Artists Network, who will be joining us from July 2022. The artists were selected from an open call to recent graduates of MTU Crawford. They are: Aoife Nolan, Baiba Sisene, Iris Vos and Regina Fruitos, along with Bursary Award winners Helen Cantwell and Myfanwy Frost-Jones.

Helen Cantwell: Winner of the Ciaran Langford Memorial Bursary

My work aims to explore ideas of advertising culture and crowd manipulation through social media streams, particularly why we as consumers feel the need to constantly change our lifestyles to fit an online image. Expanding on this, I look at the effect of social media saturation on the identities and psyches of a generation raised online. Working in expanded image making , my practice layers methods of digital collage, print media, appropriation techniques and installation, drawing on the visuals of social media and inserting autobiographical imagery. Using marketing materials such as acrylic and steel I aim to emulate advertisement aesthetics, while transparency and colour saturation reflect internet and screen media aesthetics. In a broader sense, my work explores the systems that are put in place to control and censor people, or to use people as a source of income and how this can affect us both as individuals and as a collective. I find that I explore my ideas best through digital media and collage, but it is where they go from there that excites me, as I enjoy working with print, drawing, screen media and large scale/ mural based painting.

Follow Helen on Instagram here.

Myfanwy Frost-Jones: Winner of the Backwater Moving Image Bursary

My work examines the complicated relationships between land, landscape and ecology in a rural space. Layering conflicting histories of colonialism and invasion with current issues of biodiversity and coastal erosion, I work with photography and moving image installation. Text features in my work to create narrative and reference. Embracing the sublime, my work investigates the allure of the rural landscape whilst acknowledging the dark histories of the past. Creating an immersive experience, linking the many pasts with the present within the landscape, gives insight into the realities and expectations of land and sustainability in the Irish rural environment.

Follow Myfanwy on Instagram here.

Backwater Artists Network Graduate Members

The Backwater Artists Network (BAN) offers a shared city centre focal point and opportunities to connect for professional artists working in isolation from their home studios, or in single privately rented studios. We look forward to having our new BAN members Aoife Nolan, Baiba Sisene, Iris Vos, Regina Fruitos, Helen Cantwell & Myfanwy Frost-Jones as part of our studio.

Backwater Artists Group are committed to supporting emerging artists through our Bursary and Post Graduate Programmes. We have been providing these awards since 1990 and since then, over 100 artists have benefited. Each year we provide graduates of MTU Crawford College of Art and Design (formerly CIT Crawford College of Art & Design CCAD) with one Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary and one Moving Image Bursary. We also facilitate two Backwater Studios Graduate Residency Awards (aka ‘Paint Store Bursaries’) awarded by CCAD. In 2022 we will also award an additional 4 graduates with one year membership of our Backwater Artists Network. Membership of our network creates opportunities for artists to share resources, develop their practice through peer-to-peer critique sessions, exclusive events, exhibitions, mentoring, access to curators and workshops.

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