At Cow House Studios, above all else, we value process, the belief that a rigorous dedication to time spent in the studio yields exciting possibilities for new ideas and artworks. At the core of FieldWorks curriculum is meaningful, uninterrupted time in the studio and its beautiful surroundings drawing, painting, making photographs or videos, collecting, writing and reading. Days are punctuated by immediate feedback from instructors and peers, accelerating the creative process, whereby single days can yield an exceptional amount of productivity. This adherence to process rather than the finished result can be liberating but also essential to making connections that one might never dream up otherwise.
While open-ended studio time is essential, we also value practised craft. In addition to independent studio practice, a series of workshops presenting new material possibilities take place on a daily basis. This not only presents new possibilities to our students but recognises that many artists think through ideas by grappling with new materials. It is often the case that new processes can ignite a dormant avenue of thought and our studio demonstrations are intended to provoke these new possibilities. This approach, in conjunction with our fantastic facility, inspiring landscape and family heritage, come together to provide a truly unique experience.
The third crucial component of FieldWorks is travel. Ireland has a vibrant and diverse creative community and as a member of this community, we are keen to share it with our students. The network of practitioners that make and support challenging and creative work has much to offer. Among the most resourceful of professionals, artists are keenly aware of the possibilities within their surroundings and in each other. This resourcefulness is at the core of Cow House Studios’ own crafting and we believe essential to any creative practice. Learning how others have solved problems, built something from nothing or brought together a group to form a collective or group exhibition can teach valuable lessons when confronting one’s own professional development.
A Typical Day during FieldWorks
Breakfast at 9 am. Then, into the studio by 10 am to work independently and meet with instructors for one on one guidance. Lunch is served from 1 pm to 2 pm. After lunch, we return to the studio for our daily workshop introducing a new skill or process. Between 4 pm and 6 pm time will be spent working on projects and gathering new research. This time will also be used for group critiques and allow for opportunities to explore the farm, read a book or catch up with friends and family back home. Dinner, a delicious home cooked meal, is served at 7 pm. After dinner students may use the studio facilities to continue developing their projects, take in a presentation by one of our instructors, watch a movie, play a game of pool or partake in one of our organised evening activities, such as a trip to the local pub to hear traditional Irish music.
Study a variety of mediums:
- drawing & painting
- digital & darkroom photography
- video & animation
- sculpture & installation
Sample workshops, classes & presentations:
- daily individual tutorials & weekly group critiques
- discussions of weekly readings relating to contemporary arts practice
- studio visits with Irish artists & curators
- darkroom photography techniques
- the history & processes of photography
- oil painting techniques
- life drawing sessions
- workshop on colour theory
- shooting video & recording audio
- digital manipulation in Adobe Photoshop
Visits to local art, craft & design spaces:
- Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford
- Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford
- Workhouse Union, Callan
- Fennellys, Callan
- Grennan Mill Craft School, Thomastown
- Carlow Visual, Carlow
- Butler Gallery, Kilkenny
- Cushendale Mills, Graiguenamanagh