How to Flatten a Mountain 2018

Dates: April 23 – May 4, 2018

How to Flatten a Mountain is an annual residency opportunity which takes place at Cow House Studios in County Wexford. On Monday, April 23rd twelve artists arrived at the studios to experience ten days on the farm making new work, learning about each other’s artistic practice and working with a group of dynamic facilitators. The aim of this residency was for participating artists to explore possibilities outside their core practice and by working collaboratively, produce a cohesive exhibition of work presented as part of PhotoIreland Festival, 2018.

This twelve-day programme was comprised of three component parts; workshop facilitation, open studio time and the installation and opening of an exhibition in Dublin for PhotoIreland Festival 2018. The first six days of the programme were comprised of a carefully selected series of workshops, readings and presentations designed to stimulate the creative process, facilitate collaboration, familiarise participants with the people and places of the locality and tease out shared curiosities and thematics. The following four days provided the necessary time and space to create new work. Following on from initial workshops, the open studio time allowed for participants to re-visit sites of interest, research, print and finalise work for presentation. The final two days were spent in Dublin installing the exhibition, culminating in an opening on the final evening of the programme.


How to Flatten a Mountain 2018 participants:

Rose Bennett, Donna Cooper Hurt, Sarah Flynn, Ana Gómez de León, Shaney Marie Herrmann, Katinka Igelberg, Daniel Orlando Lara Garcia, Nancy Libson, Sarah Pannell, Leah Raintree, Molly Ruoho, and Sofia Seguro.

For the 2018 programme, participants took an active part in a series of workshops led by Irish-based New Zealander Cathy Fitzgerald, whose creative practice and research is a response to eco-socio-political concerns, Barcelona based artist, photographer and bookmaker Laia Abril whose work is presently on show at Copper House Gallery and Irish photographer and lecturer Robert Ellis, whose work addresses notions of “home”, working with small rural communities, often relying on inherent or local knowledge to inform a sense of place. These facilitators served as an integral part of the residency, contributing valuable insights which helped guide the production of new work.

For the exhibition, each artist approached the photographic medium with a different set of curiosities, interests and concerns and while the work presented was diverse in subject, the participating artists displayed a remarkable solidarity and illustrated what is possible in just ten short days of work.



For any further questions about How to Flatten a Mountain, please contact Frank Abruzzese, Co-Director, Cow House Studios.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for the residency?
The residency is open to emerging and mid-career visual artists whose artistic practice in whole or part, makes use of digital and/or analogue photographic processes.

How long is the residency?
The residency is 12 days and runs from April 23rd – May 4th, 2018.

Do you offer residencies at other times of the year?
Yes, we offer several residency opportunities each year. You can find a list of current opportunities here.

How many artists are awarded this residency?
There will be twelve artists participating in this residency.

How do I apply?
Submit the following documents in PDF format by Sunday, January 14, 2018.

  1. Completed application form
  2. Recent CV/resume
  3. A portfolio (only one pdf file). Although there is no maximum number of images that will be accepted, we advise applicants to only submit relevant materials to reduce the size of email submissions. The images should include captions or short descriptions. For videos/films/audio, you may provide links to your own website, Vimeo page, YouTube page, within the application form. Do not attach actual video files.

Please submit electronic copies of the three attachments in ONE email under the size of 10 MB to

You will be contacted by a Cow House Studios representative to confirm receipt of your application within five working days. Successful applicants will be contacted by Monday, January 29, 2018.

What facilities are provided in the studio?
The 343 m2 (3700 ft2) open plan studio contains a darkroom, computer lab and lounge. The studios were designed for flexibility of use, the Cow House contains 4 individual spaces, and a shared open studio floor for larger group projects and alternative working methods.

The well-equipped black & white darkroom is capable of making prints up to 50 x 60 cm (20 x 24 in), and our computer lab consists of Apple Macintosh computers, a high-resolution film scanner, an Epson 4900 printer, Adobe Creative Suite and wireless broadband. We have two Nikon D3300 Digital SLR cameras with a variety of lenses, a selection of tripods, studio lights and seamless background papers. Artists may also use our various manual and electric hand tools including a table saw, mitre saw, router, wood plane, circular saw, jig saw, a variety of sanders and power drills in addition to a selection of clamps fasteners and glues.

Supplies provided at the studio include a selection of papers including, newsprint, 100, 150 & 300-gram cartridge paper, 300-gram watercolour paper and a selection of coloured A3 pastel papers. We also have 10 oz (339 gram) unprimed cotton canvas that measures 183cm wide. The studio is stocked with student grade watercolour & gouache by Reeves, a variety of water-based inks by Winsor Newton, Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, student grade oil paint by Winsor Newton, solvent, gesso and a variety of mediums.

Students and artists alike may avail of disposable paint palettes, palette knives, brushes and oil dippers. Additionally, the studio is also regularly stocked to ensure we have plenty of darkroom chemicals, ink for the printers, graphite pencils, charcoal, colour pencils, watercolour pencils, oil pastels, chalk pastels, markers, erasers, scissors, sharp Exacto knives, cutting mats, masking tape, drawing clips, fixative and PVA glue, A3 & A1 size drawing boards and easels.

How do I get to the Cow House?
If you do not have a car, or are travelling from abroad, Cow House Studios will provide transportation from both Dublin Airport and The Library Project, conveniently located in Dublin’s city centre.

Where is the closest town/village?
Cow House Studios is located in rural farmland. The closest village, Rathnure is three miles away. The nearest town, Enniscorthy is twelve miles away.

Do you provide transport?
Yes, there will be frequent trips into town as well as transportation to Dublin for the last two days of the program. We also have four electric bicycles which can be used locally.


Should I bring any materials with me?
We recommend that you bring your own camera. Cow House Studios will provide ink and paper for the printers, film, chemicals and b&w paper for the darkroom. If you would like to use materials other than these please bring them with you.

Where can I buy art materials?
Basic art materials may be purchased in Enniscorthy, New Ross and Wexford. If you need more than what is provided we recommend that you order additional or special materials online that can be delivered directly to the studio.
Building or hardware supplies can be ordered and delivered by a local builders supply.

Do I have to pay for the residency?
The cost of the residency is €950. This includes the following.

  • three delicious and healthy meals daily while at Cow House Studios
  • lunch and dinner while in Dublin
  • most comfy accommodation while at Cow House Studios*
  • informative and challenging readings, workshops and presentations
  • travel to and from Dublin
  • ink and paper for our printers, film and b&w paper for darkroom
  • access to all Cow House Studios facilities, computers, darkroom, and studios

Where will I stay?
Artists live in the Barn during their stay at Cow House Studios. This building lies adjacent to the studio. Each artist shares their room with three other artists.
Cow House Studios is located on the O’Gorman family farm. Rosie’s parents, Michael and Mary, live next door and Michael still works the land. There is a family atmosphere at the Cow House, we have three very friendly dogs, as well as three cats, a horse and a peacock, and we occasionally have family and friends visiting.

What about food?
Delicious home cooked meals are provided three times daily. We are happy to cater for any dietary requirements or preferences.

Do I need a visa to travel to Ireland for the residency?
EU residents and residents from specific countries such as the USA and Canada do not need a visa for travel to Ireland. Citizens of certain countries do require a visa to travel to Ireland. If you need a letter to assist in securing a visa, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Can I have visitors during my residency?
No, due to the intensive nature of this residency we cannot accommodate guests.

Do I need to bring bed linens or towels?
We provide bed linens, but please bring your own towels.

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