RCSI announces winner of RCSI Art Award in recognition of link between art and healing

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Colin Martin 2020 RCSI Art Award

Colin Martin has been announced as the winner of the 2020 RCSI Art Award. The prize was awarded to the artist for his work entitled ‘Model City (Blade Runner)’.

Now in its fifth year, the RCSI Art Award in association with the RHA Annual Exhibition and The Irish Times was established to recognise the connection between art and healing.

The installation was selected from more than 600 works that were on display at the 190th RHA Annual Exhibition. The exhibition was presented in December in adherence with Level 3 reopening protocols.

The successful artist was awarded €5,000 and the RCSI silver medal and will also receive a commission to the value of €10,000 for a new work for the RCSI collection.

Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive, RCSI said: “The RCSI Art Award is a celebration of the common heritage of the RCSI and RHA and the long-standing association between art, medicine and wellbeing. We are delighted to present the fifth annual prize to Colin Martin. It is hoped that the artwork he creates for our campus will significantly contribute to an enrichment of the university environment and attract interaction between people and place, inspiring our students and all those who see the work.”

The prize was awarded to Colin Martin for his work titled ‘Model City (Blade Runner)’, which makes reference to science fiction genres and imagined futures that have come to pass. The artist explores boundaries between the real and virtual world throughout his work.

Colin Martin is an artist and lecturer based in Dublin. He is currently Head of the RHA School and lectures part-time in the NCAD Media Department. He is a graduate of DIT and NCAD and works in the medium of painting and film. His current project, Empathy Lab, is based on a dedicated area in Facebook headquarters were employees can express empathy through technology to various causes.

All works of art, in any medium, selected for the 190th RHA Annual Exhibition were considered for the RCSI Art Award. The other shortlisted artists were Dominque Crowley ‘Telemorophosis’, Cecilian Danniel ‘In the Birth Plantation’, Niamh Smith ‘Home, Soft Focus Life, Cocooning 2020’ and Jon Rainey ‘The Deflatables’.

The RCSI Art Award was established in 2016 to celebrate the common heritage of RCSI and the RHA and the long-standing association between art, medicine and wellbeing. Both RCSI (1784) and the RHA (1823) have Georgian origins and are 32-county bodies with educational roles. RCSI was occupied, while the RHA was destroyed in the Easter Rising of 1916 and the RCSI Art Award was established to coincide with the centenary of these historic events.

The RCSI Art Award Committee includes Professor P. Ronan O’Connell, President, RCSI (Chair); Abigail O’Brien, President, RHA; Deirdre Falvey, The Irish Times; Patrick T. Murphy, Director, RHA; Professor Clive Lee, Professor of Anatomy, RCSI and RHA; Dr Abdul Bulbulia, Alumnus, RCSI; Aíne Gibbons, Director of Development, RCSI; and Dr Avril Hutch, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, RCSI.

For further information on the RHA Annual Exhibition, visit

Colin Martin 2020 RCSI Art Award Model City