Student of The Year Exhibition - Dearbhla Coffey, Pauline Gibbons and Angela Gilmour

February 9th - 26th

Beginning in 1967, The Student of the Year Award has been given by the Lavit Gallery to a graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design, who shows promise and potential. Past recipients of this award have included - John Burke, Eilis O' Connell, Vivienne Roche, Maud Cotter and Bridget Flannery to name but a few.

This year, the decision was made to nominate three artists to share the prize - Dearbhla Coffey, Pauline Gibbons and Angela Gilmour. This award, takes the form of this exhibition at the gallery, (from which no commission is taken on sales) and a small cash prize sponsored by Parfrey Murphy Chartered Accountants. The preview of the exhibition by the latest recipients of this award will take place at the Lavit Gallery on Tuesday, February 9th from 5.00 - 7.00p.m., with Jean Brennan, Arts Officer, Cork City Council saying a few words on the night.

Curiously Science plays an important role in the work of these three artists.

The basis of Dearbhla Coffey's artistic practice is the examination of a new "theory of everything" called Biocentrism by the scientist Robert Lanza. This theory proposes that life and consciousness are fundamental to the universe. Her examination is made primarily through printmaking and sound art installation. Coffey says that she makes use of geometric patterns to "create a space and examine the theory's idea of different universes existing and the migration of features of one's consciousness to these universes." She is currently continuing her education studying for a masters in art education at University College Cork and had a solo exhibition of her work at the Alliance Francais, Cork in 2015.

Pauline Gibbons makes use of unexpected materials as she plays with the deconstruction and re-representation of obsolete everyday objects. In this exhibition she will use light boxes, photopolymer prints and digital imagery to draw transitions from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Gibbons explains that "using light as a tool for drawing, the work seeks to heighten the viewer's awareness of our cosmic perception by portraying the universe as a conflicting space of revelation and obliteration, through the use of visual and aural interruptions manifested as shifting shadows, light and sound from unexpected materials." She is currently undertaking a post graduate placement with the Backwater Artists Group. As well as receiving the Student of The Year Award on her graduation, she also received the CIT Science Week Award, which included a solo exhibition at CIT in November 2015.

Originally a physics graduate from the University of the West of Scotland, working with research scientists informs Angela Gilmour's artistic practice - environmental scientists in the case of this work. Gilmour says "our interference in nature has resorted in climate change but less noticeable is the detrimental effect the introduction of invasive species has had on native species. Scientists at UCC are working towards understanding the mechanisms that enable these invaders to thrive, in the hope that they can recolour our natural landscape." She will be exhibiting monochrome landscape paintings inspired by visits to the School of B.E.E.S., UCC. Currently she is undertaking a collaborative project with Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC) & Tyndall National Institute, Cork County Libraries, support by the National Sculpture Factory and funded by Science Foundation Ireland. 2015 has seen her exhibiting solo bodies of work for Culture Night at the Tyndall National Institute and for Tyndall Technology Days at the Radisson Hotel, Little Island.

We look forward to what promises to be a very interesting show, which will provide us with an opportunity to see and support the work of these artists, at the beginning of what will I'm sure be long and successful careers. The exhibition continues until February 26th.