“How did you find out about it?” they asked me. “We keep it a secret, there is even no website”. “My Irish artist friend told me about it” I replied. An art residency, located at the edge of the world – remote Ireland – is a big secret.
I was lucky to be accepted. Out of thousands of applicants who some how found out about it, they pick only a few, most of them are however Irish artists or writers, as a part of the rule. When I was there I was the only foreigner, 5 others were Irish. This place was so deserted that I had to take 2 different busses from Cork and a taxi, since no other public transportation goes there.
Each of the residents is given a beautiful house made of rock. Each house has an art studio space with a sky light, a kitchen, a bedroom up top and a fireplace, which makes the whole experience cozy. On my 1st day I bought a bag of local Irish peat and studied how to use it. Every moment I desire I could look out of my window or step outside to enjoy this breathtaking landscape. The landscape would be waiting for me every time different, and I could never get bored, instead I would get inspired to make a painting in watercolor.
My roll of paper arrived to the retreat before me and I could start working. My plan was to make a set of Irish landscapes in a large format. I worked on it hard, every day, even on my final day, but also took some time to walk around the area, photographing for the future references and recording sheep and Irish springs.
Almost every evening artists would get together for a glass of wine and a creative chat. We would meet at different house every time, this way we will visit each others studio. Our party would be over after midnight and since we were at the darkest spot in Ireland, we would need to use a flash light to find our way home. The star show would be UNBELIEVABLE on a clear day. I would stay longer outside bearing the cold, and trying to remember those moments.
I would sleep well and would wake up late to start another creative day.
I will not forget that unique place.
Spacial thanks to the person, who has organized this residency and rebuilt it and keeps on running it allowing artists to reside there and create absolutely free!
Dear Noelle Campbell-Sharp, it is an honor knowing you in person.