Oileán AiR, Cape Clear Island residency

I’m delighted to be traveling to Cape Clear Island, County Cork, Ireland for two months for the Oileán AiR residency, from September to early November 2020.

The residency starts with the question:

‘Cad a thárlódh dá gcaithfeadh ealaíontóirí agus deantóirí am ag smaoineamh ar a gcuid oibre agus an caidreamh idir é agus an Ghaeilge i gcomhthéacs Gaeltachta?’

‘What would happen if artists, thinkers and other creators could take time to reconsider their practice and its relationship to community and the Irish language in the context of the Gaeltacht?’

The world has changed significantly since I started my PhD at Glasgow School of Art; researching the intersection between interdisciplinary sculpture, place and minority language.  After months of spending more time on Zoom than I would like, I’m very excited to be traveling to the special environment of Oileán Chléire/ Cape Clear Island.   As I go into the second year of my PhD, and with so much of life having moved online, this is a perfectly-timed opportunity to develop my practice-based research in a unique environment, to make new work, to take time to think, to experiment, to meet people and improve my Irish.

During my time on Oileán Chléire, I’ll be investigating the relationship of language, place and sculpture through a process of creating temporary sculptural-poetry in the landscape.

I see the whole residency as a series of interlinked and equally important creative processes: the conversations I have and the connections I make on the island whilst improving my level of Irish, the original visual research in the landscape, the experimentation with found materials, the collaborative process of identifying and translating text in Irish and English, the transformation of this text into some kind of sculptural form, and then the placing of this work in its location – in a way which is sensitive to the environment, temporary and non-destructive.

I envisage this as not just a single work but a number of connected temporal, ephemeral works spread out at different locations across the island.  I’m really looking forward to spending time on the island exploring the landscape, learning the history and engaging with the contemporary culture of Oileán Chléire – through conversations, through research, and through engaging with the Irish language.

Oileán AiR: www.oileanair.com

le tacaíocht ó / proudly supported by Engaging Communities Grant – Cork County Council Arts Office, Comharchumann Chleire Teo, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and CREATE.