Artist awarded for ‘outstanding work’

Daniel’s award winning painting of his mother titled ‘Dark Turned Fields’.


DONEGAL artist and curator Daniel Nelis has been awarded the RSA Guthrie Award for his painting titled ‘Dark Turned Fields’.


Daniel, who is from Gartan, has been practising as a visual artist for over ten years.

The RSA Guthrie Award is awarded for outstanding work by an artist under 35 years old exhibiting in the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition.

The award winning painting titled ‘Dark Turned Fields’ is of Daniel’s mother.

Working on the painting between 2016 and 2018, Daniel said like a lot of his work, this image is greatly informed by the people he knows and the area in which he grew up.

“There are opportunities presented by painting the people closest to you not typically afforded otherwise. Chiefly is the fact of availability.

“Painting someone you know, who you see regularly and who are more readily available to paint means you can allow the image to emerge more naturally.

“I understand that looking at the image might not suggest a flattering likeness, but knowing someone, seeing time work upon them over a longer duration and being more intimately familiar is bound to lead to an image that is more intrusive.


“That intrusion is echoed in the landscape of the bog between Creeslough and Glenveagh, spaces where the effects of time can be keenly felt,” he said.

Delighted to receive the amazing news, Daniel said being selected to exhibit as part of an academy exhibition is a huge honour.

“To receive award recognition from one’s peers is a wonderful confirmation.

“As the past few years have made clear, there are no guarantees in artistic practice, and so I can’t overstate the delight of moments like this,” he said.

Daniel was also recently selected as the 2023 Early Career Curator-in-Residence for the Regional Cultural Centre and Glebe Gallery.

Daniel will be working with the RCC and the Glebe Gallery on a number of exhibition projects over the next nine months.

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