Visual Arts Residency at Firestation Artists’ Studios
Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios have been involved in a strategic partnership since 2008. This partnership began with a Studio Award for a Visual Artist with a Disability.
This award was presented annually from 2008-2012 and aimed to support professional practice and build capacity amongst visual artists with disabilities. The award consists of a free live and work studio in Fire Station Artists’ Studios and a bursary. Awardees of this award are Ruth Le Gear and Hugh O’Donnell (2011/12), Anna Berndtson (2010), and Noemi Lakmaier (2009)
In 2011 Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios developed a Mentoring Programme. This programme gives visual artists with a disability based in Ireland an opportunity to engage in a mentoring programme (as mentee or co mentor). Mentoring offers professionally focused development for artists. It opens the potential for knowledge, sharing and gives artists the opportunity to observe and formally review aspects of their own practice in action.
It opens the potential for knowledge, sharing and gives artists the opportunity to observe and formally review aspects of their own practice in action.
Anna Berndtson was the recipient of the ‘Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios Studio Award’( 2010).
Anna is a Swedish performance artist working foremost with long duration live performance. The foundation of her practice is the presence of both the artist and the public. Her body and her own perception are placed in the centre of the work and the reduction of the visual image is fundamental in her performances, videos and photographs.
Berndtson graduated from Dartington College of Arts, UK in 1999 and in 2001 joined the performance class of Marina Abromovic at the HBK Braunschweig, Germany. She has performed and exhibited work extensively including Overbeck-Geselschaft, Lübeck (2012), Rencontres Internationales, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2010), Connect Launch, IMMA, Dublin and The LAB , Dublin ( 2010) The 10th Open International Performance Art Festival, Bejing, China (2009), Artists Space, New York (2007), PS1 MoMA, New York (2006), Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (2005) and Recycling the Future - VV2 at the Venice Biennale (2003).In 2006 Anna Berndtson was awarded the Worpswede Künstlerhäuser artist-in-residence grant as well as the grant from Aase och Richard Björklunds fond. In 2007 and 2010 – 2011 she got the work grant from Konstnärsmämden in Sweden.. In 2012 she spent 3 months at the Artist-in-Residency Program, Nordic Artists' Centre Dalsåsen, Norway.
Noëmi Lakmaier was awarded the Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios Studio Award in 2008/9
She studied for both her BA (2003) and her MA (2004) in Fine Art at Winchester School of Art. She has exhibited widely in the UK including Essence, Beldam Gallery, Brunel University, London 2008, The Works of Others, Whitechapel Gallery Project Space, London 2006, Redundancy, Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth 2005. In 2008 she was Artist in Residency at Camden Arts Centre, London. Lakmaier has guest lectured at the University of Brighton, Brighton, the University of Hert fordshire, Hatfield and NCAD, Dublin.
Noëmi's predominantly site specific and installation based practice, aims to emphasise and exaggerate the relationship between object, individual and space, frequently incorporating her own body into the work. She works with familiar, everyday objects and materials, which she manipulates and juxtaposes against each other so that they become devoid of their original function and take on new, absurd meanings. In this way Lakmaier's work presents itself as alternative physical realities, mirror images of the everyday, which suggest a purpose that - in a Kafkaesque sense - always remains just out of reach of the viewer's understanding.
The individual's relationship to its surroundings, individual identity and perception in a fast, success-driven society are important concerns in Lakmaier's work. Through her choices of material and space she explores the psychological implications of power, control and insecurity, the drive to belong and succeed as well as feelings of self-doubt and otherness.
Hugh O’Donnell was the recipient of the Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists’ Studios Studio Award (2011).
Born in Dublin, Hugh O’Donnell studied art, design and mixed media at Ballyfermot Senior College before moving to Belfast where he specialized in sculpture and completed an MFA in University of Ulster (2006). O Donnell describes his work as performance / action art, which also incorporates installation, drawing and video, in which he explores themes around human rights, sexuality and gender.
His work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally in galleries/non-profit organisations, alternative and site-specific locations, including Platform Arts Belfast (2012), Trace: installaction Artspace, Wales, Vertigo-ALO: Iowa, USA (2011), and FADO: Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2010). Grace Exhibition Space Brooklyn New York, Arsenal Gallery Bialystok Poland, European Performance Art Festival (EPAF) Warsaw Poland. The main focus of O’Donnell’s work for his residency at Fire Station Artists’ Studios was live performance (Exchange Gallery, Block T and the LAB) as well as drawing and video. O Donnell is also on the board of directors of Bbeyond in Belfast.
Ruth Le Gear
Ruth Le Gear was awarded an Arts and Disability Connect New Work Award in 2015 to develop a new body of work called ‘The Aquatic Trace’ with support from Leitrim Sculpture Centre and The Model Sligo.
“...Le Gear's art practice is enchantingly intangible. She spoke of the “primal purity” of light and water and how her research is based both on empirical science and the more intuitive process of homeopathy, which works on the notion that the lower the concentration of a substance, the more potent it becomes.” James Merrigan, Visual Artists Ireland.
Ruth Le Gear was awarded the Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists' Studios Studio Award in 2011
Ruth Le Gear's practice involves an engagement and creation of remedies from water, making visible the invisible by creating a tangible response to forces that are not immediately apparent. Her process involves serial dilutions, which form tiny poetic time machines where each water sample is explored to see what is held within. This work is emerging from the outcomes of research, collaboration and fieldwork based around water memory throughout Europe and particularly Arctic icebergs and the Baltic Sea. She has made a series of remedies from Arctic icebergs and use them as part of her artistic practice in order to bring a resonance of the melting Arctic to other water bodies as well as humans. She will travel to Antarctica this year to further this research. The imagery, videos and sound works created for her engagement with humans are created from the essence of the water remedies.
Fire Station Artists’ Studios
Located in north east inner city Dublin, the Fire Station Artists’ Studios was established in 1993 to provide support for professional visual artists.
Fire Station provides subsidised combined living and working studios for Irish and international artists, large scale sculpture workshop facilities and training opportunities for artists. The Fire Station training programme has expanded to include digital and film training and we continue to host technical training and master classes which incorporate critical reflection.
A key policy of the Fire Station is to contribute to the debate on collaborative and socially engaged arts practice, through a commissioning process that incorporates critique.