Belfast-based artist and filmaker Seamus Harahan has won the 2015 Film London Jarman Award. He £10,000 prize money, as well as a commission for Channel 4’s Random Acts strand.
Harahan was announced as this year’s winner at Whitechapel Gallery last night, beating fellow nominees Adam Chodzko, Gail Pickering, Alia Syed, Bedwyr Williams and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.
Harahan, who was a featured artist at September’s Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, uses an inexpensive hand-held camera to create films of Belfast street life and other everyday situations, which he then soundtracks with everything from hip-hop to folk.
Acting as a kind of benign voyeur, his work documents seemingly ordinary scenarios while somehow digging deeper to reveal dark truths and unresolved conflicts. Reviewed by a-n News in September, his work was described as having a ‘dirty beauty and humane inquisitiveness’.
Born in London in 1968, Harahan grew up in London and East Tyrone, Northern Ireland. In 2005 he represented Northern Ireland at the Venice Biennale.
Announcing the award, the prize’s jury said: “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.”
This year’s judging panel consisted of: Iwona Blazwick, director, Whitechapel Gallery; Andrea Lissoni, senior film curator, 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.
Also announced last night was the winner of the inauguaral Jules Wright Prize for female creative technicians. The £5000 award went to cinematographer Noski Deville, who has worked with artists such as Steve McQueen, Isaac Julien and Alia Syed.
More on a-n.co.uk:
Chris Sharratt reviews the 2015 edition, featuring work by 2015 Jarman Award winner Seamus Harahan