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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.

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‘Aixelsyd doesn’t harm your health’, Hugh O’Donnell at the LAB, Dublin 2012.

It opens the potential for knowledge, sharing and gives artists the opportunity to observe and formally review aspects of their own practice in action.


‘Glenade’ Ruth Le Gear 2015.

Ruth Le Gear ADI & Fire Station Artists’ Studios, Studio Award 2011

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‘We Are For You Because We are Against Them’ by Noemi Lakmaier. Installation shot, the LAB, 2009

Sexy Lawn Mover Hugh O'Donnell 2012. Hugh was awarded a Studio Award in 2012

‘Sexy Lawmower’ Hugh O’Donnell, ADI & Fire Station Artists’ Studios Studio Award 2011/12

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‘Protected’ Anna Berndtson. ADI & Fire Station Artists’ Studios Studio Award 2010

Previous Awardees

Anna Berndtson

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

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

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 – New Work

Ruth Le Gear received an Arts and Disability Connect New Work award in 2015. Ruth was also awarded the Arts & Disability Ireland and Fire Station Artists' Studios, Studio Award for an artist with a disability in 2011.

Ruth is a visual artist based in Sligo. In partnership with The Model and Leitrim Sculpture Centre  Ruth developed a new body of work called Water Senses. This project included the development of an exhibition at The Model and an accompanying printed publication. Ruth was supported through this New Work award with mentoring from the Model and studio support through the Leitrim Sculpture Centre.

As a hybrid artist, Ruth Le Gear's practice mediates between nature, water remedy intervention, and environmental art. Her practice emerges from collaborations and fieldwork projects which examine the qualities of water and the memories held within. Le Gear works with various water bodies including Arctic icebergs, the Baltic Sea and Irish lakes and waterfalls. Her practice finds form in moving image, the still image, sound, and installation.

Group shows include; Et Si On S'etati Trompe at the Centre Cultural Irlandais Paris (2015) Contemporary Art at Tell in the University of St. Gallen Switzerland (2014), Eight Gallery Dublin (2014), Crystalline at the Millennium Court Arts Centre Portadown (2012) and Eva International Limerick (2008).

Residencies include; Land Arts of the American West and Santa Fe Art Institute in New Mexico (2016), The Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk (2014), Leitrim Sculpture Centre (2013), Arctic Circle (2012), Fire Station Artists’ Studios Dublin (2011), Iceland (SIM, 2012/09), Cill Rialig, (2011), Tyrone Guthrie (2010), and Limerick City Gallery of Art (2008).

Partner Biography

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.

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