First Rosy James Memorial Trust Award Winner Announced

Silversmith Stuart Cairns was unveiled as first recipient of the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award on the most recent BBC Arts Show (19th June). Administered by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the new annual bursary, worth £15,000, gives makers the opportunity to develop exciting new work.

The new award came about thanks to the generosity of Rosemary James (Rosy), a colourful patron of the arts who bequeathed over £500,000 to help designer-makers pursue their careers.

Originally from Belfast, Rosy had a lifelong commitment to the arts and following her death in 2010, a Trust Fund was set up offering a unique bursary to help craft makers develop their careers. This will allow them to create work which would otherwise have been unachievable.  It can buy them time to explore new ideas and develop a new body of work.

Silversmith Stuart Cairns said, "I am totally thrilled to receive this bursary, it will allow me to invest in research time, equipment and materials enabling me to develop a new, considered body of work for exhibition locally and internationally."

Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland commented: “Congratulations to Stuart being the first craft maker to receive the Rosy James Memorial Trust Award.  Stuart’s work is unique and impressive.  He is one of the best silversmiths we have practicing in Northern Ireland; he has won numerous awards and has successfully exhibited internationally.  I wish Stuart every success in leaving all of us an exciting, lasting legacy from this first award in Rosy’s name.”

Alan Kane, Chief Executive of Craft NI, an organisation which supports and promotes the craft industry in Northern Ireland, added: “This new bursary scheme generously funded by the Rosy James Trust will provide an ongoing, annual opportunity for the development of exciting new work which probably would not otherwise be created. It will provide successive generations of makers with a vital resource to push the boundaries of their practice and influence the future direction of the whole industry in a very positive and inspirational way.”

For more information visit the Arts Council NI website.

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