Seamus Harahan wins 2015 Jarman Award
Date posted: 30.11.2015
Film London announced Belfast-based artist Seamus Harahan as winner of the 2015 Jarman Award tonight, alongside their partners Channel 4 and the Whitechapel Gallery.
Harahan was selected from a six-strong shortlist which also included Adam Chodzko, Gail Pickering, Alia Syed, Bedwyr Williams and Andrea Luka Zimmerman. For the first time in the history of the award, all members of the shortlist will receive broadcast commissions for Channel 4’s Random Acts strand.
About Seamus Harahan
Born in London in 1968, Seamus Harahan grew up in London and later East Tyrone. The urban environment of his native Northern Ireland often forms the central focus for Harahan’s work, as he distils its incidental and fugitive nature, capturing low-fi footage from which he crafts films that are disarmingly simple, and suggest an absent-minded gaze alighting on moments of humanity.
Filmed on inexpensive, hand-held equipment, Harahan’s acutely observed and poignant videos of Belfast street-life blur the lines between observational footage and experimental art. Music, from hip-hop to folk, is an integral component to the work, which Harahan describes as sitting somewhere between documentary and music video.
Harahan’s work is held in national and international collections and he represented Northern Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale. He lives and works in Belfast.
Following an invited nomination process surveying experts from across the UK’s contemporary film and arts sectors, the overall winner was selected by an Award Jury.
This year’s Award Jury were: Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery; Andrea Lissoni, Senior Curator, International Art (Film), Tate Modern and Film London Board Member; Pegah Farahmand, Editor, Random Acts, Channel 4; Stephen Sutcliffe, Artist; Maria Palacios Cruz, Deputy Director, LUX and Sol Papadopoulos, Producer, Hurricane Films.
The Jury said of the winner: ""Seamus Harahan was selected for this year's Jarman Award thanks to his amazing eye and his intuitiveness, both of which come to the fore in his vignettes of urban life. Elegantly and effectively scored and crafted with a simplicity of means, he makes profoundly beautiful and deeply engaging films that push the boundaries of art and documentary. His work is moving and humorous, making him winner of this year's Jarman Award."
Also announced at this evening’s event was the recipient of the inaugural Jules Wright Prize for Female Creative Technician, which this year goes to Noski Deville.
In another first for the Jarman Award, the cinematographer was awarded the £5,000 prize in recognition of the tremendous impact she has made on the field of cinematography, the breadth of her work and the range of artist filmmakers she has worked alongside.
Named after the late founder of The Wapping Project, a successful theatre director, curator and long-time champion of women in the arts, this new prize seeks to recognise, reward and highlight female creative technicians who have made a significant contribution to artists’ films.
The Jarman Award is supported by Arts Council England.