Platform31 is a nationwide artist development scheme. Westmeath Arts Office in collaboration with the Arts Council of Ireland delivered this national scheme scheme.
31 artists representing every Local Authority in Ireland have been announced as the recipients of the inaugural PLATFORM 31. The bursary was developed for artists to assist grow their practice and test new ideas of collaboration, research, audience development, place based arts and sharing their work.
Artist Celine Sheridan
Specifically, the award offers financial and developmental support for mid-career artists.
The nationwide invitation went out to artists of any discipline and practice, based in Ireland, as well as multi-disciplinary practice.
Westmeath Arts Officer Miriam Mulrennan says
“I am delighted for Celine, she is an extremely hard-working artist who engages generously with many community groups in the county. Celine also has an innovative and dynamic approach to her own practice, which sees her regularly collaborating with other art forms, artists and artists’ collectives. Celine has been particularly supportive of the Luan Gallery as it grew its reputation as a space of excellence in the Midlands.
This scheme is very welcome especially given that we had such a high volume of applicants from Westmeath. Many awards and schemes target either those at a well-established stage in their career, or target the ‘emerging’ artist. Located between these two stools … between the ‘emerging’ and the ‘household name’ artists is the space that probably is occupied by the majority of artists across the country. Westmeath Arts Office hopes this marks the beginning of greater focus and support for this cohort.
Sinead O’Reilly Head of Local, Place and Public Art, The Arts Council says
“The Arts Council is delighted to support this thoughtful local authority led programme to support artists around Ireland, support for artists continues to be much needed at this time and our congratulations to each recipient; I have no doubt the bursary, the network and peer support will be an invaluable experience over the coming months.”
Artists across all disciplines including visual arts, theatre, dance, music, circus/street art, literature and film were selected. Participating artists will receive an €8,000 bursary to invest in themselves and their practice, combined with participation in an advisory and developmental framework and a peer network. The pilot scheme is envisioned as a platform for the participants to value their time, to showcase their work and their collaborations, sharing their learnings locally and nationally as a legacy of the project.
For over 35 years Local Authority Arts Offices have worked directly with artists to ensure the arts thrive in all communities. Working in a grass roots and foundational way has allowed Arts Officers to identify and to respond to the needs of artists, keeping the arts and cultural agenda focussed and relevant in changing environments.
The carefully considered support network built into Platform 31 sets this bursary scheme apart. The scheme will establish a peer networking framework for participating artists, introducing them to a pool of critical thinkers to share their work and learnings, and encouraging a national conversation about creating work in local contexts. The exact nature of this artist support framework will be informed by the proposals and interests of the 31 artists selected.
Content Last Updated/Reviewed: 08/03/2021