We are delighted to announce the launch of our new and ambitious Artist Development and Support Programme for 2021, delivered in partnership with Carlow County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Throughout 2021 VISUAL will support several artists, curators, and arts practitioners in the development of their practice and the realisation of new art works, performances, exhibitions, and art-led community engagement projects.
Carlow based Choreographer and Director Emma Martin of United Fall Dance Company will continue as VISUAL’s Associate Artist in 2021. Since 2012 VISUAL has supported Emma’s practice which has enabled her to develop an impressive portfolio of new and original stage works that have been presented both nationally and internationally, to great critical acclaim.
The programme will also see other home-grown talent take up residency at VISUAL throughout 2020. Cian Kinsella, one half of the hilarious circus comedy duo Lords of Strut will research and develop new material for the duo’s latest stage production. Multidisciplinary artist Sarah Devereux will research and develop a new body of work for exhibition in 2022. Performance maker Barry Fitzgerald, who has worked with several leading theatre companies in the UK including Complicité, Barbican, Gendered Intelligence, Punchdrunk, Royal Court and Unicorn Theatre, will return to Carlow to research and develop a new solo work exploring themes of religion, sexuality, queerness and his own experiences of growing up gay in rural Ireland. Shane Michael Byrne, a member of the inclusive theatre ensemble Equinox Theatre Company, will begin developing his own solo practice working with several key collaborators throughout the year to develop new work. This residency is delivered in partnership with Equinox Theatre Company of KCAT Arts Centre who will also be in residence at VISUAL in 2021.
Other artists also being supported by VISUAL through 2021 include Ursula McGinn and Mollie Molumby of Bombinate Theatre, an award-winning theatre company who specialise in theatre for young audiences, will develop a new work called BLUE inspired by Carlow scientist John Tyndall and his discovery of why the sky is blue. Spoken Word Artist and Poet Feli Olusanya AKA Feli Speaks will develop a new visual poetry album which will be presented at part of Dublin Theatre Festival 2022. Feli was recently named one-to-watch in the Irish Times ‘50 People to Watch in 2021’. Curator Iarlaith MacPheorais will deliver a curated programme over 2021. Through an open-ended artistic development and research programme, artists will be invited to explore communication under a Crip lens, locating speculative fictions potentiality as a site for reimagining communication in all of its expressions. Public manifestations of the programme will include discussions, commissions, publications, digital content, knowledge sharing or an exhibition.
Cathy Osikoya, Sandrine Ndahiro, Ali Byrne & Enda Bowe will come together to collaborate on Un-silencing Black Voices, an ongoing project that explores the lived experience of the black community in Ireland. The group will work with teenagers and young people from Carlow to develop this project. Artist Celina Muldoon whose work spans live performance, film and installation will research and develop a new body of work throughout 2021. Identity, memory and surveillance are major themes in Celina’s work, and she is interested in the relationships between socio-political structures and the body. Finally dance artist Katherine O’Malley will be supported by VISUAL to develop her dance practice with a particular focus on community participation and engagement.
VISUAL is also looking forward to supporting a wide variety of artists through a lab programme. Four bursary awards of €1000 each will be made available to artists through VISUAL’s Lab Programme. This will be awarded through an open call process which will be announced in the coming weeks.