FieldWorks Gap Year: Spring, 2019 Update

It’s hard to believe we’re already one month into our new gap year program FieldWorks. It has all at once felt like the blink of an eye and a much longer stay. Our students have accomplished a great deal in their time with us thus far, working with Co-Directors Rosie & Frank as well as visiting artists Damien Flood and Ann Maria Healy. We’ve explored the mediums of painting, drawing, photography, video, sculpture and performance to create new works. Our weekly critiques have yielded interesting results that will be the building blocks of more realised works later on in the session. Our students have been encouraged to dive deeper into existing themes within their work and pushed to work outside their comfort zone.

In addition to work in the studio, we’ve taken several trips. Our first, to the nearby St. Mullins, Carlow and Borris, was our first. During this day-long excursion, we visited the quaint village of St Mullins to view a monastic site built by St. Moling. This site, nearly 1400 years old, houses a beautiful, ruin and holy well. We also took in the scene along the peaceful Barrow River. Next, we visited the fantastic Visual Arts Centre to view exhibitions by Stephen McKenna and Ailbhe Ní Bhriain. Our final stop was in Borris, where we walked along the beautiful viaduct there before taking in our first pint of Guinness at O’Shea’s pub.

Our second trip was to Dublin for three days. During this time we had the pleasure of visiting painter Stephen Dunne at his exhibition in the RHA, Angel Luis Gonzales at Library Project to hear about his experiences as founder and director of PhotoIreland and finally, Rachael Gilborne at the Irish Museum of Modern Art to hear about her experiences working within a larger institution and her work as an independent curator. We took some time to view incredible works at Chester Beatie Library, IMMA, the RHA and Library project. During this trip, our students had ample time to explore the city, eat delicious ramen and burgers and, of course, shop.

While meeting with students just one month in, everyone has made significant leaps forward in their work. As we prepare for our trip to the west, we’re incredibly excited to see where the next few months take us. It’s clear to see some great things brewing. Above all else, we can see friendships forming. The banter around the dining table is always full of laughter, inside jokes and funny accents. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful group for our first ever gap year and continue to learn from such talented individuals. You can have a look at the photos here and stay tuned for more to come!

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