The O'Malley Art Award recognizes and promotes achievements in the visual
arts, particularly those which have stimulated or guided other Irish artists.
The award is given in the name of the family of the late Ernie O'Malley, who,
in addition to his literary and patriotic activities, was also a notable
collector of modern Irish art. The annual award was first presented
The 2016 award was presented to Locky Morris at the
recent "Patrons, Prizes. Paradigms - The O'Malley Awards from the Irish
American Cultural Institute, 1989 -2016" held at the University of
Limerick. Mr. Morris, (born Derry, 1960 where he continues to live
and work) has been exhibiting regularly since the mid1980s. He first came to
prominence as a young artist in the 1980s when his work engaged with the
political realities affecting his community in Derry, their connection to their
history, to social upheaval and military control. His practice as an artist has
been marked by fluid boundaries. Current work would confirm this: with a
largely mobile phone generated project, informed in part, by his
mother's recent dementia, an album of new songs (with him as singer) under
the name of Redflare, with Undertone and That Petrol Emotion man John O
Neill, and a large integrated public artwork for the new Museum of Free Derry
and National Civil Rights Archive in the Bogside area of Derry opening in 2016.
Writing about Morris's artworks for Vol 1V of The Art and
Architecture of Ireland (2014, p 248) Liam Kelly described them as 'made from
the simplest materials, such as cardboard, masking tape and paint, (which adds
to their sense of the ridiculous) explore the complexity of meanings and
counter-meanings in the local situation. At the same time their economy of
means carries a charge of recognition beyond the local resonances'.
Morris's work was included in the ground-breaking exhibition
Directions Out, (Douglas Hyde Gallery and various venues in the United States)
in 1986/7, in the British Art Show in 1990, L'Imaginaire Irlandais 1996 and in
shows in Tate Liverpool, the Venice Biennale and more recently in Derry's
Orchard Gallery and The Golden Thread Gallery in Belfast.