2012 Eisteddfod: Gold medal round-up

Three gold medals in the categories of fine art, architecture and craft and design were awarded over the weekend at the 2012 National Eisteddfod, staged this year at Llandow in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Cardiff-based installation artist Carwyn Evans won the Gold Medal for Fine Art.

Evans, originally from Ceredigion, scooped the medal and the full monetary prize of £5,000. He has exhibited regularly at the National Eisteddfod since winning the Young Artist Scholarship in Llanelli in 2000.

Meanwhile, ceramist Anne Gibbs has scooped the gold medal for Craft and Design at the third time of asking. Gibbs, who lives and works in Cardiff, had previously exhibited her work at the 2008 and 2010 Eisteddfods in Cardiff and Blaenau Gwent.

The two artists were awarded their respective prizes by the Open Exhibition Selection Panel, comprising of artist Sean Edwards, textile artist Laura Thomas and Declan McGonagle, director of the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Sean Edwards said of Evans' work: "Carwyn Evans' latest body of work marks a significant shift in the artist's recent practice whilst holding steadfastly to its core concerns.

"Standing among the works you become aware of the process and skill of fabrication, the poetical importance of the abstracted and simplified markers of the agricultural machinery and life. But like all great art, Carwyn Evans' skill is in making work that can transcend one set of meanings, opening it out to encompass us all."

Laura Thomas said of Gibbs' pieces, "Anne Gibbs' elegant ceramic and found media assemblages demonstrate an enviable fluency for composition, colour and refinement of visual language. Her work is rooted in observing the natural world, with a judicious eye for celebrating overlooked natural detritus."

The judges also decided to Highly Commend Michael Cousin and André Stitt in the fine art category, and Bridgend textile artist Michelle Griffiths in craft and design.

The gold medal for architecture was also awarded over the weekend, with Cardiff-based HLM Architects receiving the accolade for their design of the Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School near Bridgend.

The medal is supported by the Design Commission for Wales and awarded in association with the Royal Society of Architects in Wales.

The Archbishop McGrath Catholic High School, Bridgend. Photograph Copyright Girts Gailans

HLM Architects beat off competition from 22 different architectural practices from across the UK. The selectors praised their scheme for being "a clear statement of how good design can help build a fantastic school community."

In addition to the gold medal another prize, the plaque of merit, is awarded to smaller projects achieving high design quality. This year’s plaque of merit was won by Chepstow architects, Hall + Bednarczyk, for a private residential home they designed in the Monmouthshire countryside.

An Architecture Scholarship of £1,500 was also jointly awarded at the Eisteddfod to promising younger designers Katherine Jones, 22, of Penarth, and Owain Williams, 23, of Treharris.

For the latest on the 2012 Eisteddfod visit BBC Newyddion and the official website, eisteddfod.org.uk.


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