Independent-Artists on retreat-
Artists on retreat – meet 16 young artists awarded Next Generation bursaries
From poets to dancers, 16 young talents awarded Next Generation bursaries by the Arts Council of Ireland spent an inspiring week together at a retreat in Co Monaghan. Arlene Harris paid them a visit.
For 2016, 16 bursaries were awarded to innovative young artists, working across visual arts, music, literature, film, dance, theatre and circus to support their ambition as rising stars of the contemporary arts in Ireland.
The chosen artists each received an award of €12,500 to fund their works this year, and were invited to participate in a collective week-long residency in April at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, a residential workplace in Co Monaghan where our photos were taken.
Orlaith McBride, director of the Arts Council, says picking the bursary winners was a difficult task but the most important thing was allowing them the space to develop and grow within the residency programme.
“The big challenge for the Arts Council in terms of shaping the Next Generation programme for emerging artists was to look at the different ways in which artists nowadays think and work,” she explains. “The shared conversations that were had at Annaghmakerrig have probably brought the artists into a different space in terms of their own arts practice and that’s really all we wanted to achieve. We didn’t want to direct them in any way. We wanted the residency to be absolutely led by the artists and all we wanted to do was try to create the context and the environment around that, where they could take time to immerse themselves in their work without distraction.”
Here we meet some of Ireland’s rising arts stars…
“I am a circus performer and use technology in my performance, which is very visual and inspired from my Asian heritage. Performance through drawing is a door to a fantasy world where I can be whoever or whatever I want. I also use magic and live special effects to recreate a realm where the impossible becomes a reality.
“I started in 2003 but it really picked up since I’ve been living in Ireland as being far from my roots allowed me to take this path without being judged or criticised.