Artists’ Residencyin LeitrimPosted on May 14th, 2012
Leitrim Arts Office seeks interest from artists from any arts discipline who wish to participate in Spark, a new artists’ residency programme which is a partnership project of Leitrim County Council Arts Office and Leitrim County Enterprise Board, with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland.
Spark is a programme aimed at artists who are interested in working in new environments, and companies who are interested in collaborating with artists and promoting creativity within their organisations.
As part of Spark, artists simultaneously take on dual roles of artist and creative collaborator over the course of six months spending an average of two days per week with the company over that period.
In both roles, there are no pre-determined outcomes and the journey the residency takes will define its own path.
In the role as artist, the resident is provided with the opportunity to make work inspired by the environment, materials, staff or working practices of a company. This provides the opportunity to explore different methods of working, new influences, and the opportunity to produce art in a unique context that allows for greater participation in its creation. Artists are not necessarily expected to make work collaboratively; rather the artist is making work for a period of time in a different place of work than usual. Quite naturally however, the work is clearly influenced by the adopted environment, relating strongly to that context thus providing a greater interest and involvement in the work from staff. While the residency will conclude with an exhibition of work, this may be documentation of a process that the artist has undertaken rather than finished work in the traditional sense.
In the role as creative collaborator, the artist can propose new and different creative and innovative paths, and serve as a catalyst for new thinking within companies. The artist can address areas where benefit to the company could accrue such as changes in work processes; developments within existing or new products or services; developments within staff interrelations; adoption of new attitudes towards creativity in the workplace or adoption of new attitudes towards service users, customers or the wider society.
Spark responds directly from within a company, developing a platform for creative collaboration appropriate to that context, providing alternatives to the current view, and making connections and linkages where they may not have existed previously.
Spark takes from international models of best practice which have shown that there is a real demand not only by companies wanting to take more creative approaches, but also by artists wanting to interact in broader fields than strictly within their artform. This exchange carries benefits for both parties and is important for developing ideas about creativity.
The two companies selected to participate in the 2012 Spark programme are The Bush Hotel in Carrick on Shannon and Leitrim Organic Centre, in Rossinver, Co. Leitrim.
One of Ireland’s and Leitrim’s oldest hotels, the Bush started life as an Inn on the Bianconi Stage Coach route between Dublin and the Northwest. Today the tradition of Inn keeping continues and the Hotel is now an award winning boutique hotel with open fires, themed lounges and bars, coffee shop and restaurant with innovative cuisine, chic bedrooms along with extensive and flexible conference and banqueting facilities. The Hotel is steeped in history, charm and character with many memorabilia from the past. The Hotel is privately owned and managed by the Dolan family whose mission is simply to provide all of their customers with exceptional, honest, ethical and personal service in a respectful and sustainable way.
The aim of Leitrim Organic Centre is to promote organic gardening and sustainable living through training, demonstration and the provision of information. Over 2000 people learn organic gardening through their courses and community gardens every year, and many more are inspired towards a more organic, sustainable and healthy lifestyle. The centre is continually developing courses and product ranges to meet the needs of people who have moved to a healthier lifestyle or who want to find out how to do so. From very humble beginnings in 1995, Leitrim Organic Centre’s services include – demonstration organic gardens with seven polytunnels, an orchard, outdoor gardens, ornamental beds and a woodland; special event days to demonstrate organic gardening skills and encourage people to grow their own food; a full time, FETAC accredited Level 5 certificate course in Organic Horticulture; a menu of weekend courses covering organic production, alternative energy, sustainable self-build, cookery and traditional crafts; supporting Community and School Gardens; operating a Green-Organic-Help-Line; and having an onsite and online eco-shop.
Artists wishing to apply should simply email Leitrim Arts Office on firstname.lastname@example.org to declare their interest in the programme. There is no need to supply any information other than an email address at this point. From that a site visit day will be arranged where artists who have declared their interest will be invited to visit each company, talk with management and staff and come to a better understanding of the programme and the companies involved.
Following the site visit, artists will be asked to prepare a proposal for a residency in either company. An artist can make two separate applications for each company, or more than one for each, if they wish. The proposal is not a definite “in stone” document but rather an indication of how an artist would complete the residency if their course did not alter during it. It is essentially an indication of an artist’s methodology, their interests and their understanding of the company. However as it is only based on a short site visit, it would be expected that the residency itself would dictate how the work would progress and that it would, in the end, differ substantially from the original proposal. But in order to decide who participates and how appropriate an artist’s approach is likely to be, applications are assessed primarily on the information contained in the proposal.
As well as including a CV along with images, recordings etc. of previous work, the proposal should include how the artist would approach both strands of the residency – that of artist and that of creative collaborator, describing potential processes, lines of enquiry and potential culminations for both.
- Closing Date for expression of interest: 5pm, Friday 8th June
- Site Visit: Thursday 14th June
- Closing Date for receipt of proposals: Thursday 12th July
- Artists Selected by Thursday 19th July
- Residency Dates: July to December, average two days/week
- Artist Fee: €7,000 (circa €350/two-day week inclusive of all costs inc travel, accommodation etc.)
- A materials budget of €3,000 is also provided (€1,500 for each of the two strands of the residency)