On Wednesday night I attended the opening of Propeller, the Irish graduate photography award. This was at the Copper House Gallery which is a new space located at the premises of the printers Fire in Dublin. The award is a collaboration between Fire and Source which includes an in-kind award of print-production costs, studio space at the lab and mentoring by staff at Fire and Source. The initial idea for the award came from Les Wolnik one of the directors at Fire who saw how difficult his own daughter, a recent photography graduate, was finding it post University.
Darek Fortas was the winner of the award in 2011 and it was his work that was on show. The six months available to produce new work was a challenge and it seemed appropriate that Darek had chosen to develop his graduate project from Dublin Institute of Technology. It was work that I had also selected as part of Graduate Photography Online so it was interesting to see what a little bit more time had contributed to the project.
The work was introduced on the night by Darek’s old tutor Anthony Haughey. Anthony’s own work, which was featured in issue 65 of Source, had been on show at the gallery in October.
The evening was also the launch of Propeller 2012 which will continue the collaboration between Fire and Source. This year the award is open to any student based in Ireland or Northern Ireland as well as Irish students studying abroad. Full details of the competition are online.
The deadline for submissions is the 5th June 2012 and its something that’s well worth considering if you are soon to be an Irish graduate.