An eighteen year old, multi-disciplined artist from Derry/Londonderry has claimed this year’s Stendhal Festival Featured Artist Prize.
Rebecca Mulhern’s work stood out amongst a raft of stunning entries to this year’s contest and along with a £500 prize, Rebecca’s artwork will now be featured across all Stendhal Festival branding and marketing and she will have a featured space in the Festival’s Art gallery.
The Festival’s Creative Director, Colm O’Donnell, says the prize was created by the Festival in order to discover, highlight and reward up and coming artists and that Rebecca is a very worthy winner this year.
“Her application immediately stood out,” he said, “her use of colours in how she creates landscapes that are that little bit off kilter drew my eye to her work and kept it there.
“Her work will be a fantastic addition to not only our art gallery this year, but it has already made a huge impression on everyone who has seen our first line-up poster and we are looking forward to incorporating her work throughout all of our marketing artwork this year.”
He added: “Massive congratulations to Rebecca but I’d also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who entered the contest this year. The standard right across the board was exceptional and incredibly varied and continues to show to us that the talent we have in our part of the world is phenomenal.”
Rebecca has been creating artwork professionally for 2 years now, having studied it for 7 years at both Thornhill College and at The North West Regional College.
She has work displayed throughout the maiden city at places such as Bennigans Bar Art Gallery and has also created a multitude of pieces specifically for musicians within the Northern Irish Music Scene, including album and gig poster art for the likes of Paddy Nash.
Reacting to the news that she had won this year’s prize, Rebecca said: “I am ecstatic to have been selected as Stendhal’s Feature Artist 2018.
“I have been both attending and performing at the festival for the past 5 years, and it is something that I really look forward to each year.
“Stendhal has always been a great supporter of local artists, and each year I look forward to seeing the artwork on display at the festival’s gallery, just as much as the musical and other performances.
“It is an honour to see my artwork being used in the promotion of a festival that I am so fond of.”
Rebecca says that she has many overall aims with her artwork and that she changes up her style on a regular basis in order to fulfil her ambitions.
“I aim to create a sense of serenity through my work, work that is interesting and provocative, all the while trying to incorporate my personality and the current climate of the world around me into my pieces at the same time.
“I aim to collaborate with as many people as possible as through working with others you get different viewpoints and ideas and that helps you grow as an artist.
“A direct result of collaboration with others is that my art styles have varied massively over the past few years.
“At the moment I am focusing on landscapes. I am creating the landscapes using mainly oil paints, but also incorporating pencil and embroidery into my work.
“I mainly use the Irish countryside as my inspiration, exaggerating the colours and warping features of the landscape.
“When I paint, I don’t usually work from images, so the scenes that I create just flow onto the page, and it gives me a great sense of freedom. I often use my fingers to blend the paint, as I feel more involved and have more control, as well as feeling closer to what I am creating.”
Taking influence from the likes of Van Gogh, Emily Carr, and Ana Teresa Barboza, Rebecca says she loves creating a sense of movement in the stillness of her work, adding: “Nature, and the patterns and colours within nature, are my main inspirations. I like to take shapes and colours that already exist and exaggerate them, drawing inspiration from impressionism, expressionism and fauvism.”
Skilled in many elements of the arts, Rebecca is also a talented musician and photographer.
“I suppose I’m a multi-disciplined artist because so many aspects of art appeal to me,” She said.
“I am a photographer, and love to photograph people, experimenting with dramatic lighting, interesting colour pallets, or projecting images and patterns onto the subject’s skin, giving the impression that they have been painted on.”
To enjoy Rebecca’s work up close and in living colour you can visit her featured artist platform at Stendhal Festival on August 10 and 11.