Solas Awards Exhibition

  December 2015 –
January 2016


A major new award from Source Photographic Review (Belfast) and Gallery of Photography (Dublin) with prizes of $11,500 and international exhibitions

THE SOLAS PRIZE is a major new photography award with $11,500 in prizes, exhibition and publication opportunities for the winners. It is a collaboration between Source Photographic Review (Belfast) and the Gallery of Photography (Dublin). Receiving more then 700 entries from 53 countries, a panel of judges from leading photography organisations in Chicago, Salzburg, Rotterdam, Dublin and Belfast have selected the following artists:

1st prize of $10,000 – Michel LeBelhomme (FR)
2nd prize of $1,000 – Dara McGrath (IR)
3rd prize of $500 – Mervyn Arthur (UK)

Michel Le Belhomme
’s pictures are about landscape and representation and the work investigates this idea through collages, folded maps and studio setups. The work’s title,The Two Labyrinths suggests either a deceptively simple game or a deadly trap.

The starting point and title for Dara McGrath’s work comes from a Ministry of Defence report Project Cleansweep, which was set up to assess residual contamination by chemical warfare agents in the UK. Although the MOD reported no remaining risk to human health or the environment, other environmental experts remain skeptical. McGrath’s work scrutinizes the post-militarised environment to consider what we can and cannot see.

On first impression the pictures in Mervyn Arthur’s Slipshod / Screen Test have an abstract perfectionism, however on closer inspection they are anchored to reality by the scuffs, scratches and imperfections visible in the surfaces. Arthur plays with formal and external markers of reality in this struggle with realism.

The Solas Awards Exhibition Dublin 2nd Dec 2015 – 10th Jan 2016
Winners will be exhibited at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin, and published and distributed worldwide in the upcoming issue of Source magazine from 1st Dec 2015. The exhibition also features the work of seven photographers who have been selected for the Solas Ireland Awards: these are Ciarán Óg Arnold, Enda Bowe, Eamonn Doyle, Emer Gillespie, Shane Lynam, Yvette Monaghan and Dara McGrath. In addition to the exhibition in Dublin, their work will be showcased in a major  group exhibition at Fotohof, Salzburg in 2016.

The work of 28 shortlisted artists can be seen at

Source is a photography magazine based and published in the UK since 1992. The Gallery of Photography was established in 1978 and is the national centre for photography in Ireland. Both entities are publicly-funded, non-profit arts organisations.

The Solas Prize brings together two formerly separate photography awards: the Source-Cord prize and the Gallery of Photography Artist’s Award. Previous Source-Cord judges have included Charlotte Cotton, Diana Edkins, Kate Bush, Stephanie Grebe and Mariko Takeuchi. In 2014 Takashi Arai won the award with his project ‘Exposed in a Hundred Suns’. The Gallery of Photography Artist’s Award was established in 2002. The 2013 Award ran in collaboration with the Copper House Gallery and was won by Richard Gilligan.

Solas Prize 2015 Judges
Natasha Egan – Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago)
Frits Gierstberg – Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam)
Herman Seidl – Fotohof (Salzburg)
Tanya Kiang – Gallery of Photography (Dublin)
John Duncan – Source magazine (Belfast)