Darkroom Open Call 2022

Darkroom & Digital Production Facility


Backwater Artists Group was founded in 1990 by graduates of the Crawford College of Art & Design. The aim of the group was to pool resources in the search for safe and secure studio space. This led to the temporary successive occupancies of two other premises before finally securing a home for the group on Wandesford Quay in 1999.

Launched in 2018, the Backwater darkroom was designed not only to meet the needs of lens-based artists at Backwater Artists Group but to also address the deficit of darkroom facilities in Cork City following the closure of other studios in recent years.

Initiated, and built in 2018 by then studio member, visual artist and photographer Darn Thorn. The Darkroom is currently administered by lens-based artist, and photographer, Izabela Szczutkowska.

Backwater Artist Group invite submissions for users of the darkroom and associated digital production facility. Full details of the terms and conditions of associate usage are provided below.

The criteria for suitability are outlined below.



  • Heated darkroom space with access to temperature controlled water for processing and washing
  • 24 Hour access (See Access & Booking for more information)
  • Access to two enlargers with ability to print 35mm and Medium format
  • Chemicals used in the darkroom are disposed of by Backwater Artists Group
  • Capacity to tray process colour prints if required
  • 1 x 3 meter sink for print processing
  • Film Drying Unit
  • One materials storage cupboard per user

Digital Production Facility

  • Access to hot desk in digital space
  • Access to full Adobe suite via 27″ iMac
  • Epson V750 Scanner with capacity to scan all film formats from 35mm to 8×10


There will be a charge of €45 per month. Associate users will provide their own materials and chemicals. Storage and disposal of chemicals will be included.


The darkroom will be accessed by approximately 8 users per year not including course attendees. In addition to the three new associate users, the facility will also be accessible to all studio members (when relevant, occasional), one lens-based art/photography international artist in residence (2 months).

All darkroom usage will be booked using a shared calendar. Each user will have a set quota of time per month, which must be entered into the timetable one week in advance or earlier. Regular slots are advisable.  Associate users will be granted 12 hours per week (2 x 6 hour slots). Access to the darkroom is dependent upon induction; proof of the ability to work safely and independently and under the condition that failure to comply with safety standards may result in suspension or termination of access.


Backwater Artists Group welcomes submissions from photographers and lens-based artists who have need of a darkroom facility and/or a digital production facility. Submissions will be assessed and scored by the BAG Darkroom Sub-Committee, on the following criteria:

25%     darkroom experience

25%     suitability of art/photography practice

35%     Supporting documentation / cv / portfolio material

15%     adherence to submission guidelines


Fill in the Backwater Darkroom Submission Form – 2022 (or request form by email). The submission form is structured as follows. Please use text boxes provided:

  • Contact name
  • Contact email address
  • Contact phone number
  • Website/social media/blog links (if any)
  • Artist Biography (max 200 words).
  • Artist Statement (max 300 words).  Optional
  • Outline how you propose to use the facilities (max 100 words).
  • List of supporting images / videos including title, date, medium, dimensions (if relevant and/or known). Supporting images / video: Images (max 10 images) to be of adequate resolution (min 1MB – max 2MB). Videos where applicable can be included as video links (e.g. Vimeo/Youtube) or sent via online file transfer (Wetransfer/Dropbox).
  • List of supporting documents / cv / portfolio material
  • It is recommended that each submission (excluding videos) be submitted as a single PDF document (max 20MB).

Please submit proposals  by email or online file transfer (dropbox or wetransfer) to michelle@backwaterartists.ie.

Closing date for applications is 5pm Monday, 11 April 

If you have any queries about the submission process please contact Administrative Assistant Michelle Coleman by email on michelle@backwaterartists.ie or  by phone on 021 4961002.

Backwater Artists Group, Wandesford Quay, Cork.

T: (021) 4961002, E: michelle@backwaterartists.ie, W: www.backwaterartists.ie

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