Donegal artist competes for Vue Contemporary Art Prize

Donegal artist competes for Vue Contemporary Art Prize

'Cameo', part of the new series of paintings by Marty Kelly exploring our reaction to the migrant crisis in Europe.

Donegal artist Marty Kelly will compete for the biggest prize in Irish contemporary art at Vue 2016 at the Royal Hibernian Association gallery from November 3-6.

The €5,000 Vue Contemporary Art Prize presented by Savills will be awarded to the artist who has produced an outstanding body of work in the last year or made some other substantial contribution to the visual arts in Ireland.

19 of Ireland’s leading contemporary art galleries have each nominated an artist as a contender for the prize and RHA director Dr Patrick Murphy, who has an extensive track record as a curator of contemporary Irish art, will adjudicate.

Carndonagh native Kelly has been nominated by the Gibbons and Nicholas gallery in Dublin, where he completed "There'll be no bloody bluebirds", a series inspired by the current migrant crisis in Europe.

After seeing the White Cliffs of Dover on a return trip from Calais, Kelly was reminded of the patriotic song by Dame Vera Lynn and decided to use the bluebird as a metaphor for refugees.

The series explores issues of unity and separatism and how we identify with each other through compassion, love, gratitude, acceptance, pity and fear.