Cork playwrights are among new members elected to Aosdána

There have been 12 new members elected to Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland. Membership is limited to 250 living artists, who have produced a distinguished body of work.
Cork playwrights are among new members elected to Aosdána

Arthur Riordan playwright portrait of the artist as a young man

FERMOY native Arthur Riordan and Crawford School of Art graduate Gina Moxley are among the 12 new members elected to Aosdána, the affiliation of creative artists in Ireland.

Aosdána, founded in 1981, honours artists whose work has made an outstanding contribution to the creative arts in Ireland, and assists members in devoting their energies fully to their art. Membership, which is by peer nomination and election, is limited to 250 living artists, who have produced a distinguished body of work.

The membership includes creative artists working in a wide range of genres within the disciplines of architecture, choreography, music, literature, and visual art.

Playwright Arthur Riordan has been writing for theatre and radio for 30 years. His work is rooted in contemporary radical politics and recent history.

Major works have been produced by Rough Magic Theatre Company, of whom he is a founding member and associate artist.

Riordan’s writing includes the stage adaptation of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man for Rough Magic.

Playwright Gina Moxley, who has written 18 plays over 30 years along with short stories and essays, is another Cork-born new member in the literature category. Her theatre plays include The Crumb Trail for Pan Pan Theatre; Map of M: Revised for Contovento, Rome; A Heart of Cork for Cork Capital of Culture; Tea Set for Fishamble Theatre; Danti-Dan for Rough Magic (Winner of Stewart Parker Award 1996); Dog House for National Connections, UK; Toupees and Snare Drums for Coisceim /Abbey Theatre.

Gina Moxley.
Gina Moxley.

Her most recent play The Patient Gloria played at the Traverse theatre at Edinburgh Fringe 2019 and won a Fringe First and a Herald Angel.

Cork is also represented in the Visual Art nominees, by Pat Collins, a film-maker whose works include Oscar nominated feature film Songs of Granite (2017).

Other portrait films include; A Private World (2004), portrait of John McGahern; Tim Robinson: Connemara, (2011) a portrait of Tim Robinson and Taibhsi i mBeal Na Gaoithe, (2007) on Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

Another new literary member also has strong Cork connections. Writer Kevin Barry lived on Leeside for a number of years while working for our sister paper, the Irish Examiner. Now based in Sligo, he is the author of Night Boat to Tangier, Beatlebone, City of Bohane, and the short story collections Dark Lies the Island and There are Little Kingdoms.

City of Bohane won the Author’s Club Best First Novel Prize, the European Union Prize for Literature, and IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Barry was long listed for the 2019 Booker Prize Award for Night Boat to Tangier.

The other new members elected to Aosdána are: Gerard Byrne (Visual Art); Jim Doherty (Music); Margo Harkin (Visual Art); Martin Lynch (Literature); Valerie Mulvin (Architecture); Mairead O’hEocha (Visual Art); Liz Roche (Choreography); and Jennifer Walshe (Music).

Their elections bring the membership to 249 members. As there was a tie between candidates for the last available place, a postal ballot will be arranged as soon as possible to decide the outcome for the final place.

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