Monday, September 13, 2021

By Suzanne Pender

VISUAL Carlow and Carlow Arts Festival are pleased to announce Dublin interdisciplinary artist Fiona McDonald as the winner of the Artworks Prize 2021. This year’s Artworks Open Submission invited responses to the title Woman in the Machine.

Fiona’s work uses computing and coding to produce artworks that bring us closer to nature. Her practice is at the intersection of art and engineering, working primarily with sculpture, sound, installation, print, hardware and code to create process-based data-driven works. Recent works explore data from the natural environment.

Five artworks by Fiona are on display in the gallery at Visual as part of Woman in the Machine, and a sixth can be viewed at

The winner of the Éigse Graduate Prize is Judy Foley. Judy worked in analytical chemistry before going back to art school and retraining as an artist. This atypical background has given her an acute understanding of how science can influence art – and crucially to her works in Woman in the Machine, how art can influence science.

She has two artworks in the exhibition: to sew a heart and to mend an aorta iii, both glass vitrines housing tiny hand-stitched sculptures based on industry design templates for bioprosthetic heart valves and aortic stents, made to scale for human hearts.

The judging panel highlighted two works as highly commended. Jennifer Moore’s sound piece and performance Future lights and archetypes, which was performed at Visual on Friday 11 September to a captivated audience and Amanda Rice’s engaging film No one can embargo the sun, about the ways in which technology harnesses sunlight.

Woman in the Machine is part of Carlow Arts Festival 2021, Visual Carlow’s summer programme and presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten-day season of arts experiences brought by the Arts Council Ireland.

The exhibition runs at Visual until Sunday 19 September.





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