In 2020 Backwater Artists Group will celebrate its 30 year anniversary, having provided studios for professional artists in Cork City since 1990. To mark this special milestone the organisation will be strengthening and building relationships and adopting a collaborative approach to developing a year-long programme of events and projects. Further details below.
The Connections strand of the 2020 programme is aimed at building and strengthening collegial relationships with curators and other artist-led organisations throughout the country:
Sometimes the river flows backwards | Cara Farnan. Basic Space, in association with Backwater Artists Group, is delighted to present the first solo exhibition by Cara Farnan. Sometimes the river flows backwards, showcases new work by the artist including sculpture, drawing, text, and sound (in collaboration with Jennifer Moore). Curated by Roisín Bohan, Basic Space Dublin. Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork. 10 January – 07 February. Opens 2020 programme on Thursday 09 January 2020, 6pm with performance by Jennifer Moore.
Inherited Possibility | Joseph Fogarty. Curated by Jenna Whelan (GOMA Waterford). Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group. 21 February – 20 March 2020. Opens Thursday 20 Feb 6pm. Waterford-based artist Joseph Fogarty’s sculptural artwork is based on the suggestion by Heidegger that the possibilities that we project have to be drawn from the past as a heritage. This exhibition is informed by a residency carried out at Backwater in October 2019 and is part of an exchange with GOMA as part of Backwater Artists Group 30th Anniversary programme. Backwater member Oisín Burke completed a similar residency at GOMA in 2019 ahead of a solo show in their exhibition space in 2020.
Land of Some Other Order. Curated by Paul McAree (Lismore Castle Arts). Lavit Gallery, Cork.14 March – 11 April 2020. Opens 13 March 5.30pm. This exhibition featuring the work of Backwater studio members focuses on the way the artists respond to changing definitions of landscape, climate, borders, and our human intervention into the world.
Ceyda Oskay. Curated by Miguel Amado (Cork Printmakers). Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group. 12 June – 10 July 2020. Opens 11 June 6pm. Cork Printmakers and artist Ceyda Oskay are producing a work that addresses the exclusion of racialised subjects from mainstream identities in Ireland. This work is co-created with asylum seekers based in Cork, particularly women living in direct provision centres across the city and the county who are supported by Cork Migrant Centre, an organisation that is part of Nano Nagle Place.
Fuzzy Logic. Curated by Simon Fennessy Corcoran (126 Artist-Run Gallery Galway). Studio 12, Backwater Artists Group. 4 September – 2 October 2020. Opens 3 September 6pm. The exhibition is a kaleidoscope of approaches to the entropy of uncertainty and fuzzy logic. Featuring 126 artists Lorraine Cleary, David Dunne and Backwater members Ailbhe Ní Bhriain, Ben Reilly. A second, larger iteration of the exhibition will be held subsequently at G126, Galway.
Also in Studio 12:
Divide Road | Fiona Kelly. 3 April – 1 May 2020. Opens 2 April 6pm. Divide Road constructs a diorama, showing the esker’s ruination from industrial extractivist activity and as an allegory of Ireland’s historical and contemporary geological, social and border conditions. This exhibition utilises the Studio 12 exhibition/project space as a testing ground, creating an immersive installation of experimental new work.
Beasts | Katrīna Tračuma. 24 July – 21 August 2020. Opens 23 July 6pm. The prevailing theme in the work of the artist is humankind’s estrangement from nature, as viewed through the lens of our relationships with other species. An innate tendency of humans to anthropomorphise fellow animals and the psychology behind that tendency also informs the work.
Drawing Clinics | Cassandra & Megan Eustace. 15th February, 15th May, 5th June, 16th July (afternoon only), 17th July. Opening hours: 11am-1pm, 3pm-5pm: 30 min appointments. 4 ‘clients’ per half day, 8 ‘clients’ per full day: 36 ‘clients’ seen in total during 2020 clinics. Booking essential: 021 4961002 / email@example.com. The Drawing Clinic aims to create a space in which drawing matters can be experienced, discussed, and looked at in consultation with the Eustace twins. Three minds are better than one especially when two of them are Eustaces.
Backwater Artists Network Group Exhibition. 23 October – 20 November. Opens 22 October 6pm. The inaugural annual exhibition from members of the newly launched Backwater Artists Network.
Art Shorts: A new Art Shorts series will also be introduced 2020 as an annual feature in the Studio 12 programme. These week-long slots will allow artists to hold artist talks/workshops/discussions/screenings, install artwork and document it in situ. Currently scheduled (more to come):
- A collaboration between Aoife Desmond (invited artist) and Helen O’Shea (Backwater member). 4-8 May.
- Redd | Paul Carroll, in association with Cork Harbour Festival. 18-22 May. A photographic series by Backwater Darkroom member Paul Carroll which explores how people and communities in Ireland interact with a selection of the 70000km of waterways contained within the 3192 inland water bodies on the island. It captures peoples oft-times adverse interaction within the water environs resulting in a dream like transient series of images of everyday items.
- An exhibition and associated events by Benchspace Cork in association with Cork Craft Month. 24-28 August.
Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursary Exhibition 2020:
Padraic Barrett. The Gallery at 46 Grand Parade, CIT Crawford College of Art & Design. 06 – 24 April. Opens 03 April, 5.30pm. The artist’s work is a response to the archetypal male and patriarchal traditions in Irish society today. By placing the naked male figure in a recognisable Irish landscape he alludes to the fragility and vulnerability of the traditional place men have occupied in Ireland; often with the feeling of being reluctantly placed on a pedestal from which falling seems inevitable.
Mindfulness Drawing, Natures Way Workshop | Cassandra Eustace. Road Books, Inniscarra, Co. Cork. Friday 08 May 2020. 10am-4pm. BYO Lunch. 12 persons max. Booking essential: T: 0214961002 / E: firstname.lastname@example.org. This workshop is exclusive to Backwater studio members and Backwater Artist Network members and will be facilitated by felllow member Cassandra Eustace who has been teaching a method of expressive drawing ‘outside’ since 2017. These workshops offer cutting edge creative techniques and provide a mindful experience that focuses on the sensory and embodied process of drawing, not the outcome.Preceded by tour and presentation by hosts Judy Kravis and Peter Morgan (Road Books).
The Cabin Residency @ Road Books. Road Books, Inniscarra, Co. Cork. 1 week Summer 2020. Submissions exclusive to Backwater members and Backwater Artist Network members participating in Mindfulness Drawing, Natures Way Workshop, who can submit an expression of interest and proposal after the workshop has taken place. Applications will be assessed by Judy Kravis and Peter Morgan of Road Books and one successful applicant will be awarded the one week residency. “The cabin is a green-roofed building looking onto woodland on one side, garden on the other, with large studio space and kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, well-heated in winter. Judy Kravis and Peter Morgan have been working for many years on an environmental project on the fourteen acres around the farmhouse and cabin, including native woodland, meadow and pond. They keep hens and have a large organic vegetable garden. Artists and writers who come to stay will be expected to engage with this project by helping on the land, in any way they are able, for one day a week.” Road Books 2019.