12th September 2018
Since we reinstated the ceramic kiln at Fort Dunree this summer, we have wasted no time in offering the local amateur and professional artist support and lessons in ceramic art.
This month local ceramic artist Matthew Porter has been engaged by Artlink to introduce artists to the ancient Japanese art of Raku glazing and firing at The Potting Shed at Fort Dunree.
This course has been so popular that, as part of our Culture Night celebrations, we have asked Matthew to demonstrate his skills to the public too.
On Friday 21st September, Matthew will begin with the second part of the ceramic workshop at 4pm in the afternoon when the students on the course will glaze their previously made pots. The glazed ceramic pots will then be fired between 6 and 8 pm, at a public demonstration to show the beautiful effects that can be achieved with the Raku process.
Matthew Porter says “I am delighted to be able to work with Artlink, to show local artists and the public this ancient tradition. It’s great to know that there are facilities here at Artlink for artists to be able to learn and develop their practice in ceramic art, and I look forward to working here again in the future.”
Patricia Spokes from Artlink adds “We are so pleased to be able to offer our local community the ability to learn this craft, and also to develop local ceramic art by making these facilities available to artists. We do hope that on Culture Night people will come and join us here for what will be in the main a social and creative event, but one at which people may learn something about ceramic art and perhaps be inspired to join one of our workshops in the future.”
Everyone is invited to attend the event at Artlink at Fort Dunree on Culture Night, Friday 21st September.
'Drawing With the Weather' develops on from Artlink artist-in-residence Anaïs Tondeur's first workshop, where participants made various kites and other "body extensions" to realise drawings with the wind. The workshop is free and is open to anyone regardless of age. Don't worry about your drawing skills - the weather is guiding your hand!
Friday 24th August 12noon till 2pm
Artist-in-residence Aileen Barr is following up her workshop in tile making, introducing participants to glazing techniques. Come and glaze the pieces you made in the first workshop. They will have been bisque fired and you can now add the coloured surface to the pieces before they have a final firing.
The Gathering is a partnership between Amach Anseo/Artlink and will present an insight into, and an opportunity for the public to engage with, a breadth and wealth of local knowledge in areas of history, heritage and tradition. The Gathering brings together like minded individuals who have a story to tell in the preservation and interpretation of our natural environment and food heritage.
The event will take place at The Potting Shed, Fort Dunree, an original installation by renowned Irish artist Christine Mackey. The Potting Shed is now the centre for the activities of ‘Amach Anseo’ (Amach Anseo means ‘from here forward/out’ or ‘from now on’) whose members are developing the site to grow indigenous vegetables and plants in an entirely natural way, and to provide an educational resource for the wider community.
This enlightening and fun event, will involve demonstrations centred around organic vegetable production, water harvesting, seaweed preparation, traditional bread making and honey harvesting/bee keeping.
Anaïs Tondeur, a visual artist based in Paris, will be artist-in-residence at Artlink from the 12th till the 30th of August. She is a graduate of Central Saint Martin's School and the Royal College of Art, London. Her art practice has included collaborations with anthropologists, philosophers, oceanographers and geophysicists and explores the interface between sense and science, fact and fiction. Her work dissolves the boundary between art and science, creating a mysterious and lyrical journey which traces absence, memory and loss.
Through installations, drawings, early photographic techniques and digital processes, her work carries a sense of history, time and perception. Her use of 19th century processes is a nod to an age when the scientist was also an inventor, an artist, or an explorer.
Her practice is anchored in an investigation of fiction as a transformative tool - “Fiction gives us the power to participate in the construction of other possible futures,” says Tondeur, “to build or project ourselves, to test and embody other models in response to ecological crisis.”
She has undertaken residencies at institutions such as CERN, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, and the Hydrodynamics Laboratory at the Ecole Polytechnique. Although her work emerges from within a scientific tradition of research and experimentation, running throughout her practice is a critique of the time-honoured technique of empirical observation. She questions the limits of what we can see with our eyes, pushing at the boundaries of scientific knowledge.
In 2014 she invented an island, later known as Nuuk - the Greenlandic term for ‘promontory’ or ‘headland’. Over a period of two years she worked with philosophers, physicists, oceanographers and geologists, researching this fictional place, using it as a springboard to reflect on the Anthropocene, the term coined for the new geological epoch, when the impacts of our civilisation on the earth and its ecosystems have outstripped our understanding of them. Through an image making process combining digital and analogue techniques, she unveiled the brief history of humanity’s interaction with Nuuk: from a serendipitous encounter in the early 18th century by a French naval officer to its rediscovery in 1948 by a Nordic nation. Yet none of the expeditions succeeded in surveying the island in its entirety because a deep fog covered Nuuk. She was struck by the similarities between Dunree and what she imagined to exist on Nuuk and hopes to use the residency at Fort Dunree to explore what was behind the fog.
All of her narratives stem from meeting with people’s stories, discussing with scientists and thinkers but, first and foremost, they draw on an experience of place. She feels the encounter with Donegal’s vibrant ecosystem holds the possibility of opening a whole new dimension of the Nuuk story.
During this residency she proposes to collaborate with the public, local artists and Artlink members to create an Imaginary Atlas of the Inside of the Island inspired by long excursions and observations of Fort Dunree’s sea, rocks, flora and fauna. Beyond modern representations that position us outside nature, the Imaginary Atlas will take shape from an immersion in the inside of Dunree’s living milieu and depict a world of relations.
The Atlas Pages will be created during walks in the day, at nightfall, in contact with the wind and the open sea, capturing traces of birds flight and fishes movements in speculative writing, indoor and outdoor drawing sessions with ink on dry and wet paper. This series of workshops will be accompanied by an artist talk and a short programme of screenings, reading vigils and discussions about the role of fiction as a space from which to imagine more environmentally attuned ways of living.
The first of the workshops organised as part of Aileen Barr's residency is now fully booked. For further opportunities to engage with Artlink's artists-in-residence watch this space.
Artlink’s 2018 residency programme kicks off with Donegal born artist and founder member of Artlink Aileen Barr, who will be in residence at Fort Dunree from the 9th to the 27th of August. We are making preparations for her arrival now - installing a ceramic kiln, which will be available for future use by Artlink member artists and also for workshops with the local community.
Aileen studied Craft Design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, specializing in Ceramics and has been creating handmade tile projects for the public arena for the past 22 years. As well as establishing Artlink (with Marie Barrett and Lisa Spillane), she lead a number of community based Public Art projects in Donegal through Artist in Residence in Schools projects and Artist in the Community projects before emigrating to the United States in 2002.
Since relocating to San Francisco she has completed several large scale public art projects. As a teaching artist she developed a pilot programme at the Oakland Museum of California in Art and Literacy with immigrant families. In 2003 she was commissioned by the San Francisco Arts Commission to design a public art project for a community centre in the West Portal area of the city and in the summer of 2005 she completed her second large scale public art work, the Tiled Step project at 16th Avenue, also in San Francisco. This was a collaborative project with US artist Colette Crutcher and was commissioned by the local community. She collaborated again with Colette Crutcher in 2013 on the ‘Hidden Garden Steps’ project.
Community engagement has always been part of Aileen’s working process and can take various forms, from community consultations to hands on collaborations. Her recent artwork broadly reflects the natural environment in an urban context. Thematic interests include flora, fauna and cultural history.
During her residency she proposes to create artwork in response to the natural environment of Dunree, engaging Artlink members in a series of hands on workshops. This would take the form of an artist talk and presentation of public artworks created in the last 12 years with a discussion on ways of engaging the community. The workshops would include exploring clay and tile using text, print and relief carving.
The first of these workshops will take place on Friday 17th of August at Fort Dunree. Participation is free but spaces are limited so register your interest by sending an email to email@example.com or by leaving a private message on Artlink’s Facebook page.
The annual Artlink members’ exhibition will be opening this Saturday, 21 July, at 2pm at the Saldanha Gallery, Fort Dunree. This year the guest curator, Rita McMahon, from the 126 Gallery in Galway, asked Artlink's members to submit artwork in response to the theme of “The Everyday”.