Sophies Blog: My experience on the Winter Open selection panel

4th December 2020

This year Rua Red offered me the opportunity to be part of the 2020 Winter Open selection panel.

I would like to share with you this enjoyable and astounding experience. You may already be wondering how we did this successfully with the covid-19 restrictions! Each year Rua Red hosts the Winter Open, an annual open submission exhibition. The open serves as a platform to support and encourage both emerging and established artist. Work is invited from artists countrywide working in any discipline and at all career stages.

This year the selection panel consisted of Ella Bertilsson (Artist Rua Red Studio Artist), Donal Maguire (Curator National Gallery of Ireland), Maolíosa Boyle (Director Rua Red), Hugh McCarthy (Senior Technician Rua Red) and me, Sophie Spisser (Erasmus+ placement in Rua Red). Such a wonderful team isn’t it?

We have had 157 submissions on the subject “Hindsight is 2020: Racism, injustice, murder, environmental destruction and devastation, corrupt leaders, an economic crash and an uncontrollable virulent global pandemic that has changed our world completely”. Thus, Hindsight is 2020 is used to describe how we can gain clearer understanding of a situation as we look back on it from a vantage point. As part of the panel and through this 157 submissions I’ve had a glimpse into the collective creative psyche and current concerns in the artistic community! Some works moved me very strongly, some others made me think a lot…Artists have this agency to give you a different perspective on things and make you feel “oh my god, this is so true!” I was exhausted at the end of the selection’s day but fortunately we had 5 brains to be sure we didn’t miss the most relevant or subtlest works! It was really hard to make choices and I would like to thanks all the artists for their works!

Write soon,