FieldWorks 2020: Galleries

We just finished updating our website with galleries from the autumn 2020 session of FieldWorks, our 12-week gap year program for students interested in visual art. Looking through the images and artworks has given us some time to reflect on a most unusual year. Like many, we were forced to adapt to a new set of circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We feel so fortunate to have hosted a group of students who in light of all the restrictions really made the most of their time in the studio and here in Wexford. As the galleries show, the program was an absolute success, a tribute to the students themselves and our own team here at Cow House.

In the interest of public safety, we stayed very close to home for the program’s duration. This allowed us to discover so much more right at our doorstep. Amazing beaches, hikes, and neolithic sites less frequently visited by travellers from abroad had been on our radar for years. These less-trafficked sites provided more intimate experiences for our students, something we intend to keep for future sessions. More time locally also meant more time in the studio and on the farm. Our students were incredibly productive and thriving, often working late into the night. We also made time for late-night poker, afternoon tea at Mary’s, camping in Kelly’s trees, twice-weekly workout sessions, and weekly dinners at Rosie and Frank’s place, among other activities that kept things humming along nicely. The program felt full and rich with experience, and after long parts of the year in isolation, the company felt comforting. You can view a selection of photos from the 12-week program here.

While at FieldWorks, our students spend much of their time working independently. This work most typically explores areas of interest developed long before they arrive at Cow House. In this session, our students came with interests primarily rooted in drawing and painting traditions, whether that meant working in established mediums like oil painting or newer technologies originating digitally. However, many of our students developed a serious interest in photography and bookmaking during the program, making beautiful darkroom prints and handmade books right up to the very last days. As always, it’s fascinating to see how our student’s interests translate into other mediums and, in turn, inform the work they had been making previously. There is a small sample of work on our website that you can view in our newly updated gallery here.

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