Talented queer artists shortlisted for the RDS Visual Art Awards 2022

A spot on the shortlist is highly coveted within Irish art circles, giving vital exposure to emerging artists.

Portraits of three artists shortlisted for the RDS Visual Art Awards.

The RDS Visual Art Awards Exhibition 2022 will be held at the RDS Concert Hall from October 21-29. The awards are the major platform for visual art graduates to showcase their creations in Ireland, with each shortlisted artist having a chance of winning one of five prizes, with an accumulative prize fund of over €30,000. Winners will be announced on the opening night of the exhibition, next Thursday, October 20. 

Independent curators appointed by the RDS attended end-of-year degree shows in art colleges across the country. From the pool of bountiful talent, 13 artists have been selected for the shortlist. Each of these skilled graduates went through a highly competitive two-stage process to have their work displayed at the show. Three of these artists, Eden Munroe, Kat Lalor, and Venus Patel, are members of the queer community. 

Eden Munroe
This year, Eden graduated from TU Dublin with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art. Since finishing her undergraduate degree, she is now undertaking an MA in Fine Art. Eden’s forte is sculpture and installation, addressing intersecting themes of bodily engagements and material entanglements. Combining the elements of metal, clay, liquid and plastic, she has created a stunning structure entitled ‘Plasma and Ore’.

Eden’s work for the RDS Visual Art Awards 2022 is described as skeletal steel frames that “find themselves converging with vitreous calcified forms. A membrane stretched, liquid stagnant, the scattered remains of a system left to fossilise.

“A cluster of ceramic segmented tubes appear to sprout from the ground, straining upwards and attaching themselves to a steel leg. Steel appendages and liquid-filled tubes emerge from the wall, implicating it as a layer or membrane, and engage with the ceramic forms before them.”



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A post shared by Eden Munroe (@edenmunroe.va)

Kat Lalor
Kat was awarded the Fire Station Artist Studios Recent Graduate Award in Digital Media, after graduating from Fine Art at TU Dublin with a first-class honours degree. Kat’s work is inspired by their academic interest in Queer Theory and Gender Studies. They are also studying as part of TU Dublin’s Fine Art MA programme. Deriving inspiration from Renate Lorenz’s Queer Art: Freak Theory, Kat’s work displays broader representations of non-binary gender. This allows them to beautifully express their gender identity in varying ways. 

Kat’s work as part of the exhibition entitled ‘Molasses Mourning’ is a breathtaking portrait of queer gender experience. Kat uses their own body to strikingly convey their personal narrative of embodied discrepancies between gender and sex. 



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A post shared by Kat Lalor (@katlalor.va)

Venus Patel
Venus’s extensive background in acting and theatre-making has aided her performances in experimental film. Her work, stemming from her own experiences and memories, questions the state of the world, herself and how both interact. As a queer person of colour, Venus says that she is constantly bothered by the white heteronormative society that she finds herself in, and is forcefully suppressed by. Creating characters that are extensions of her own psyche, Venus’s work allows her to process the complex emotions that she experiences. 

Her experimental short film Eggshells tells the story of a hate crime in which she was egged and yelled at. Cut into 12 segments, each scene focuses on a different character performing with an egg in different situations. Tumbling through this journey, she imaginatively incorporates performance, music and dance to create this captivating piece of art. 



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A post shared by Venus Patel (@venusart666)

GCN extends a huge congratulations to these amazing visual artists and is wishing them all the best of luck at the show. These three people are prime examples of the abundant talent that exists in the Irish queer community. The 2022 RDS Visual Art Awards exhibition will take place in the RDS Concert Hall from October 21-29 and will be open from 10:30 am – 5:30 pm daily. The RDS VAA 2022 Curator Aideen Barry will lead exhibition tours, which can be booked online here.

© 2022 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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