Niamh Sharkey (2012-2014)

Niamh Sharkey is an award‐winning author and illustrator of children’s picturebooks. Her books have won numerous awards including the prestigious Mother Goose Award for the Best New Illustrator and The Bisto Book of the Year for her first two picturebooks; Tales of Wisdom and Wonder and The Gigantic Turnip. In 2010 her picturebook, On the Road with Mavis and Marge won the Junior Book of the Year award at The Irish Book Awards and was shortlisted for the Bisto Book of the Year Awards.

Niamh’s books have been translated into over twenty languages. Tales from Old Ireland was included in the International Board of Books for Young People Honour Book List in 2002. She has exhibited her artwork many times both in Ireland and abroad, including at The Illustration Cupboard (London), The Dylan Thomas Centre (Swansea), Seven Stories (Newcastle) and The Museum of American Illustration (New York). She is an active member of Illustrators Ireland and twice she has created the image for the National Children’s Book Festival.

Her technique of working with oils on a gesso‐textured background contributes to her individual style and vibrant use of colour seen in all of her books. Niamh has also designed sets and costumes for the theatre including the 2004 Barabbas production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Niamh is the creator and co‐producer of The Happy Hugglemonsters ‐ a pre‐school series, based on her book I’m a Happy Hugglewug developed in association with the Irish Film Board and produced by Oscar nominated Brown Bag Films, for Disney Worldwide. It aired in over 150 countries worldwide.

Niamh lives in Skerries with her husband Owen, three children and their dog, Nim.

During her term as Laureate, Niamh curated a touring exhibition of children’s picturebook art, entitled Pictiúr, which exhibited at venues and festivals around Europe, including the Bologna Book Fair and the European Parliament, before returning to Ireland where it was shown, among other venues, at the Irish Museum of Modern Art and at the Galway Arts Centre, for Baboró. Niamh also held a series of Monster Doodles for children and adults around Ireland and abroad.

Is údar agus maisitheoir leabhar í Niamh Sharkey a bhfuil gradaim go leor gnóthaithe aici. Ghnóthaigh a cuid leabhar gradaim ar nós Gradam Mother Goose don Maisitheoir Nua is Fearr agus Gradam Leabhar Bisto na Bliana ar son an chéad dá Leabhar Pictiúr a rinne sí: Tales of Wisdom and Wonder agus The Gigantic Turnip. Bhuaigh an leabhar picitiúr is déanaí dá cuid, On the Road with Mavis and Marge gradam Leabhar Óige na Bliana 2010 agus cuireadh é ar an ngearrliosta le haghaidh Gradam Leabhar na Bliana Bisto.

Tá a cuid leabhar aistrithe go níos mó ná fiche teanga. Cuireadh Tales from Old Ireland sa Leabharliosta Onórach Idirnáisiúnta do Dhaoine Óga sa bhliain 2002. Bhí taispeántais dá cuid saothair aici go minic in Éirinn agus thar lear, in The Illustration Cupboard (Londain), The Dylan Thomas Centre (Swansea), Seven Stories (Newcastle) agus The Museum of American Illustration (Nua Eabhroc). Tá sí ina ball den Illustrators’ Guild of Ireland agus chruthaigh sí íomhá Fhéile náisiúnta Leabhair na bPáistí i 1999 agus arís sa bhliain 2011.

Oibríonn sí le hola ar chúlra uigeachta geasó ina sainstíl féin le dathanna beoga atá le feiceáil i ngach leabhar dá cuid. Tá seiteanna agus feistis deartha ag Niamh chomh maith don amhrclann ‐ is í a rinneadh an dearadh do léiriú Barabbas de A Midsummer Night’s Dream i 2004.

Is í Niamh a chruthaigh The Happy Hugglemonsters agus tá sí ina Comhléiritheoir ar an sraith réamhscoile seo ina bhfuil 52 eipeasód bunaithe ar a leabhar The Hugglewugs a cruthaíodh i gcomhar le Bord Scannán na hÉireann agus atá á léiriú faoi láthair le haghaidh Disney Worldwide ag Brown Bag Films, a fuair ainmniúchán Oscar. Beidh sé á chraoladh i níos mó ná 150 tír i 2013. Bhí Niamh páirteach i bhforbairt, i bpitseáil, i mbíobla sraithe, in ealaín choincheapa, i ndearadh carachtar, i scripteanna agus i mbunábhar uile an tionscadail seo.

Tá cónaí ar Niamh sna Sceirí lena fear céile Owen agus lena gclann.