Alongside a group show celebrating the legacy of modernist legend Eileen Gray, Richard Malone is launching a prize fund for eight emerging Irish artists
Eileen Gray – the pioneering modernist architect and furniture designer – and fashion designer Richard Malone were both born in Wexford, southeast Ireland, 115 years apart. Gray was one of the 20th century’s most influential creative minds, who carved out a space for herself – and many other women thereafter – in the male-dominated modernist movement. “Gray was always in the ether as I grew up, as a sort of artistic legend and daring queer undefinable female maker,” says Malone, who last year launched a travelling group exhibition celebrating Gray’s legacy, the final “chapter” of which is on view now in Wexford.
The show, titled Making and Momentum, aims to reveal Gray’s lasting influence on future generations of Irish artists, designers, architects and artisans. Highlighting the work of seven celebrated names, the group show represents a selection of some of Ireland’s most prominent talents today, featuring works by ceramicist Sara Flynn, sculptor and Venice Biennale contributor Niamh O’Malley, artist Laura Gannon, artisanal rugmakers Ceadogán, abstract painter Mainie Jellett, County Down weavers Mourne Textiles, plus artwork by Malone himself.
Alongside the exhibition, Malone has announced prize funds for eight Irish artists. Each prize will be awarded in the equal amount of €1,250, and will be awarded to those “on the strength of their design idea”, with a view to champion “the creation of experimental or solution-based art and design.” Malone and the Making and Momentum team will be accepting applicants across all creative disciplines, from art and design to musicians, writers and beyond.
“Eileen Gray’s work and legacy represent a bold, undefinable personal language and methodology that transcends time and trend,” says Malone. “Making and Momentum aims to encourage engagement and discourse with contemporary makers, artists and artisans. It is vital to support, encourage and sustain these practices in which so much of our quiet culture, and potential future, can exist and thrive. These techniques and processes and communities are part of our present, not our history.”
Making and Momentum: In Conversation with Eileen Gray is supported by: Design & Cras Council Ireland (DCCI) and is on view at Wexford County Council In Carricklawn, Ireland, until 13 May 2022.