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Artist Michael Warren to Create New Irish Wood Award

Published: Friday, July 11, 2014

Michael Warren has accepted a commission to create a sculpture for the winner of the 2014 Wood Awards Ireland (WAI). This major new competition, organised by the Wood Marketing Federation and supported by the RIAI invites Irish architects, engineers, designers and wood workers to submit projects that feature wood as an inherent medium in construction and design projects.

Michael Warren was the obvious choice as wood has been the main material in most of his major works. “His commitment to wood as a sculptural medium is remarkable in a country which lost its wood culture centuries ago,” said Donal Magner, co-ordinator of the awards. “Although he has worked in other media, he has repeatedly returned to wood as a source of inspiration,” he maintained. “This is appreciated not only by the arts community but also by proponents of wood as a sustainable construction and design medium.”

Submissions to WAI are welcome from Irish and overseas based practitioners who complete work for domestic and international markets.  An overall award will be presented for the outstanding WAI project while awards will also be presented for category winners in small and large-scale building projects, furniture, and innovative functional and non-functional structures.There will be an international award for Irish architects and engineers practicing abroad and a special award for start up businesses where wood is a major element in the new enterprise.

Michael Warren is pleased that the awards are reaching out to architects, engineers, designers, wood workers and artists practicing overseas as well as Ireland. In this sense the awards connect with his recently acclaimed exhibition Those who go / Those who stay in the Limerick City Gallery of Art. Warren has experienced both the going and staying and the freedom and challenges that accompany such choices. His international career includes site-specific works in Spain, Korea, Andorra, England, Portugal, Japan, Ecuador, Greece, France, Morocco, USA and Saudi Arabia. 

But he has also stayed and persevered long enough to produce major work and shows in Ireland since his first solo exhibition in 1980. During the past four years alone, apart from the Limerick show, he has had three major national exhibitions: Unbroken Line in the Centre for Contemporary Art, Carlow  (2010); Gravity in the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork (2011); and One Foot in the Real World in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2013). In addition he has held three exhibitions in the Hillsboro Fine Art Gallery, Dublin.“The Wood Marketing Federation welcomes Michael Warren’s creative input because of his empathy with wood and his long-term commitment to wood as a creative and sustainable medium,” said Donal Magner.

“The RIAI is delighted with Michael Warren’s involvement because of his long-standing association with architecture including collaboration with architects in works such as Wood Quay, Dublin and Tulach a 'tSolais, Oulart the Ballagh, Co. Wexford,” said Dr. Sandra O’Connell, RIAI Communications Manager and Editor of Architecture Ireland.  “In recognition of this collaboration along with his achievement in producing excellence in public sculpture, Michael Warren was awarded Honorary Membership of RIAI in 2012.” 

WAI receives sponsorship from COFORD (National Council for Forest Research & Development), Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine, AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council), Coillte, and Enterprise Ireland.

The deadline for entering the awards is 31 July 2014 on Wood Awards Ireland 

The awards will be presented in November. Further information is available at www.wood.ie or contact +353 (0)86 2607883.

[Tulach a 'tSolais, Oulart the Ballagh, Co. Wexford by Scott Tallon Walker Architcts and Michael Warren]

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