Maeve Mulrennan reports on the Public House residency in Allen, Co. Kildare.
In August 2011 The Leap Inn, Allen, Co. Kildare was inhabited by four artists: Fergus Byrne, Victoria McCormack, Áine Phillips and Dominic Thorpe. I had been granted funding from Kildare County Council to curate a residency in my father’s bar and grocery, The Leap Inn. The artists would be based in the residential section, which has been uninhabited for nearly four years.
At first the aim was simple: give artists time, space and a small fee so they can work. This then developed into inviting the artists to respond to a site: The Leap Inn, the surrounding countryside and the people who frequented the bar and grocery. It was initially kept very open.I had hoped that one of the artists might make some public intervention, but I had to be realistic, we didn’t get all the money we asked for. In the end, all four artists wanted to make work to show.