Selma Makela is an artist based in Galway, Ireland. Her painting engages with themes relating to environmental crisis and change. Making work derived from lost and found ephemera she explores ideas relating to distance and dislocation, both in terms of geological timelines and our position within them, and in terms of displacement and migration.
She has been the recipient of awards from The Arts Council Ireland, The Model (Sligo), Leitrim Sculpture Centre and Galway County Council. She has completed many artist residencies including Fogo Island Arts, Newfoundland (2011) and Fleck Fellowship & Residency from Banff Centre, Canada (2010).
Awards / Residencies
2021 Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, awarded by Galway County Arts Office
2021 Agility Award, The Arts Council, Ireland
2020 Visual Artist Bursary, The Arts Council, Ireland.
2020 Arts Council Emergency Covid Award
2019 Residency at Áras Éanna, Inis Oirr, Galway County Council Arts Office.
2019 Long list for Contemporary British Painting Prize, Huddersfield, UK.
2019 Inishlacken Project, residency on Inishlacken Island, County Galway.
2018 Interface Residency, Connemara, Galway County Council Arts Office.
2017 Cairde Award, Residency and Exhibition at The Model, Sligo.
2017 Visual Artists’ Bursary, The Arts Council, Ireland.
2017 Arts Award, Galway County Council.
2017 ‘Tír Sáile’ Residency – Belmullet, North Mayo, Ireland, Mayo County Council Award.
2017 Professional Development Award, Leitrim Sculpture Centre.
2017, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 Individual Artist Award, Galway County Council.
2016 Prizewinner, Cairde Open Submission, Sligo.
2012 Visual Artists’ Bursary, Arts Council, Ireland.
2012 Heinrich Böll Cottage residency, Achill Island, County Mayo, Arts Council, Ireland.
2011 Fogo Island Residency, Awarded by Fogo Island Arts Trust, Newfoundland, Canada.
2011 Tyrone Guthrie Centre, County Monagahan.
2010 ‘Fleck Fellowship Residency Award’ Banff Arts Centre, Canada.
2009 Tyrone Guthrie Centre, County Monaghan, Awarded by Galway County Council.
2007 Joint-Prize Winner, Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, County Mayo.
2022 Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery, Rawtenstall UK (upcoming)
2017 Bystander, Residency Work in The Focus Room at The Model, Sligo.
2014 Magnetic North, Galway Arts Centre.
2012 Cosmic Ray Weather Station, PEER, London.
2011 Eavesdropper, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin.
2008 Sound Travels Farther in the Cold, PEER, London.
2008 The Time of Year, Ballina Arts Centre, County Mayo.
Selected Group Exhibitions
2021 Ballinglen Arts Foundation, Mayo, Curated by Anne Mullee, (upcoming)
2021 RHA Summer Exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
2021 Completely Silent and Terribly, Terribly Old, PS Squared, Belfast.
2020 Environmental Crisis Exhibition, Gerald Moore Gallery, London
2020 RHA Summer Exhibition, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin
2019 9A Projects, Robinwood Mill, Todmorden, West Yorkshire, UK.
2019 Inishlacken Project, Pollen Studios, Belfast.
2019 Interface, Connemara, County Galway.
2019, 2018, 2017, Boyle Arts Festival, Boyle, County Roscommon.
2018 But Still Like Dust, I’ll Rise, Galway Arts Centre (curated by Vivienne Dick).
2018 RHA Summer Exhibition, RHA Dublin.
2018 Hambly and Hambly, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh.
2017 Creekside Open, APT, London (Selected by Alison Wilding).
2017, 2016, Barbican Arts Trust, London.
2017, 2016, RWA Summer Exhibition, Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, UK.
2017, 2016, Cairde Visual Arts Open, The Model, Sligo.
2017 North West Open, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Manorhamilton, County Leitrim.
2016 Prizewinners’ Retrospective Exhibition, Claremorris Open, Claremorris, Co Mayo.
2016 What if we got it Wrong?, Touring Exhibition from Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris. Touring to: FE McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge County Down, Wexford Arts Centre, Leitrim Sculpture Centre and West Cork Arts Centre, Skibberreen, County Cork.
2015 Et si on s’était trompé ? Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris (curated by Norah Hickey M’Sichili).
2015 Horse, VOID, Derry (curated by Mark Wallinger).
2014 Christmas Exhibition, Talbot Gallery, Dublin.
2014 Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Gallerie Du Faoudic, Lorient, France.
2013 RUA Annual Exhibition, Royal Ulster Academy, Belfast.
2013 Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, County Mayo (curated by Andrew Wilson,
2013 Marathon Irish, Vyner Street, London.
2012 Civilising the Wilderness, Eigse, County Carlow.
2012 Jonathan Swift Gallery, Wexford Opera, Wexford.
2011 Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, Co Mayo (curated by Chris Hammond, MOT gallery, London.
2011 Constellations, Eigse, Co Carlow (curated by Emma Lucy O’Brien).
2010 Any Other Gallery, Other Gallery, Banff Centre, Canada.
2009 Delicias de la Crisis, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin.
2009 Royal Hibernian Academy Art Fair, Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin.
2009 Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, Co Mayo (curated by Tom Morton, Hayward Gallery, London).
2009 Afterwards, Mead Gallery, University of Warwick, UK (curated by Sharon Kivland).
2008 Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, Co Mayo (curated By Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Tate Britain).
2007 Claremorris Open Exhibition, Claremorris, Co Mayo (curated by Ingrid Swenson, PEER, London).
2005 Tulca, Galway.
Public Art Commission/Site specific work
2020 Headford Lace Project, commissioned by Headford Lace Project, ‘Small Towns big Ideas’ programme, Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.
2018 Is anseo a bhíodh an abhainn / This is Where The River Was, commissioned by Galway County Archives and Create Ireland.
2017 Cóitheach, As Part of ‘Tír Saille’ residency and symposium, Commissioned by Mayo County Council (in collaboration with Noah Rose).
2016 Blown-in, site specific installation in Headford, County Galway, as part of ‘The Nesting Lark’ – pilot project for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.
2020 MA Module in Contemporary Art and Archaeology (Distinction) University of Highlands and Islands, Scotland. (20 ECT credit)
2013 MA Module in in Critical Art Practice, Dublin Institute Technology (20 ECT credit)
2008 BA(Hons) Fine Art (First Class Honours in Painting), Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway.
2005 BA Fine Art (Distinction & Student of the Year), Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway.
Visiting Lecturer/ Presentations
2018 Visiting Lecturer, Burren College of Art, County Clare.
2018 Arts and Heritage presentation, Heritage Council, Kildare.
2017 Artist Talk, The Model, Sligo.
2015, Panel Discussion, Et is on s’était trompé?, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.
2011 Artist Talk, Fogo Island Arts Trust, Newfoundland, Canada.
Trinity Art Collection, Dublin
Galway City Art Collection
Mayo County Council Art Collection
Private Collections in UK, Ireland, Canada, Hungary, Finland.
Publications and Reviews
2019 From Dream to Dream – Where Art Meets Science, edited by A. Robbins, Interface.
2018 But Still Like Dust I Rise, CIRCA.
2017 Claremorris Open Prizewinners Retrospective, Claremorris, County Mayo.
2016 Et si on s’était trompé? / What if we got it wrong? (curated by Nora Hickey M’Sichilli). Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris.
2010 Eavesdropper , Oonagh Young Gallery
2012 Cosmic Ray Weather Station, Katherine Madden, Artforum.
2012 Solar Do Nothing Machine, Art Map, Selma Makela, Anna Barribal, Peer, London.
2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 Claremorris Open Catalogue.
2008 Sound Travels Farther in the Cold, Contemporary Art Society, London.
2009 Afterwards, Sharon Kivland, Mead Gallery.
2005 Tulca, Ard Bia, Galway.