What does being an island nation mean?
That’s the question Curator Sinéad Barrett posed to local artists Kate McElroy, Aoife Claffey, Pádraic Barrett and Deirdre Breen in developing artwork for ‘Oiléan’ a multivenue exhibition, which is concluding with an arts event on Friday 24th September on Spike Island. The evening starts at Cobh with a ferry departing for Spike Island at 6pm and returning at 9pm.
This is the final event for Oileán where each of the artists has been given a unique opportunity to engage with and present their work on one of Cork’s most renowned heritage sites. Their work is a response to the history, landscape and architecture of Spike Island based on residencies there for the last four months. The four artists are members of the artists collective Intersite and the work shown on Spike is a collaboration with Timpeall. This project is made possible with a bursary from the Arts Council of Ireland, Sample-Studios and Spike Island.
Sinéad Barrett is a Cork-based visual artist and Programme Coordinator of Sample-Studios. In 2014 she returned to education to study Fine Art, graduating from Crawford College of Art and Design in 2019. She was awarded the Sample Studios Graduate Curatorial Residency Award 2019/2020 and has curated and worked with several artists since receiving this award. She is very active in her own artistic practice, having secured numerous exhibition opportunities since graduating and her work is held in both public and private collections. sineadbarrettart.com; @sineadbarrettart
Born in Cork in 1986, Deirdre Breen is a multidisciplinary designer and visual artist. Deirdre graduated from Limerick School of Art & Design in 2008 with a BA in Visual Communications and from Crawford College of Art & Design in 2021 with an MA in Art & Process. Her work has been awarded by the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD), commended by The Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) and was included in the 100 Archive Selection for 2018, 2019 and 2020.Deirdre’s art practice developed in 2016 and she has since exhibited both nationally and internationally, including in London and Spain. She is a member of Cork Printmakers and a visiting lecturer in Graphic Communications at Limerick School of Art & Design. @deirdrebreen
Padraic Barrett is an Irish visual and performance artist born in Kerry and now living and working in Cork. Barrett graduated this year with an MA in Art & Process from CCAD. He is the current Graduate Studio Residency Award Recipient in Sample-Studios and his Recent exhibitions include Confluence, The Lavit Gallery, Cork. padraicbarrett.com; @padraicbarrettstudio
Aoife Claffey is a visual artist, living and working in Cork City, IrelandShe received First Class Honours in both her MA in Art and Process in 2020 and BA in Fine Art in 2019 from CIT Crawford College of Art and Design. After her Degree show she was awarded six awards and three residencies, leading to a number of exhibitions and opportunities. She is a member of both Sample Studios and Cork Printmakers. Her work is in the collection of Eli Lilly and has been featured in Bloomers Magazine #07: Emerging Female Artists. She is part of a newly formed artist collective Inter_Site and has exhibited with them in the Marina Market and the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion this year. aoifeclaffeyart.com; @aofieclaffeyart
Kate McElroy is a multidisciplinary artist from Limerick and based in Cork City. Coalescing a sense of space and time, Kate’s work combines photography, found objects, recordings and installation. Through presenting layered aspects of interstitial areas, she opens a gap, to reconsider our positioning in an interlinked, transforming ecology. She received a first class honours masters degree from Crawford College of Art and Design (2021). She is a member of Sample Studios and previously of A4 sounds studios. (2015 – 2017) She received her honours BA (2013) and an honours Higher Diploma (2014) from Limerick school of Art and Design. Studios. katemcelroy.com; @kate_mcelroy_