2021 Dearcán Bursary Awarded to County Cork maker Sara Leslie

Benchspace Cork are delighted to announce that Sara Leslie has been awarded the 2021 Dearcán Bursary. The Bursary is an award supported by Cork County Council Arts Service and South Cork Local Enterprise Office, in conjunction with Benchspace.

Sara Leslie, was born in Japan and moved to Ireland when she was 8 years old. She is an aspiring maker and artist who works in woodworking, printmaking and graphic design will begin her 12 month residency in March 2021. She works under the business name Mori Art which is the Japanese word for forest. www.instagram.com/morimaker

The Dearcán Bursary builds on the ongoing work of Benchspace Cork to provide space, tools and technology to those that wish to explore or grow their own creative enterprises. Awardees are provided with a dedicated studio space for 12 months at Benchspace’s creative manufacturing hub in Cork City along with a materials budget of €500 towards the purchase of locally sourced materials and receive a personal stipend of €10,000 towards expenses while they develop their creative practice.

After being awarded the Bursary, Sara Leslie said: “I am excited to be awarded this bursary. Benchspace is an ambitious creative hub with some wonderful makers already working out of its base in the Marina Commercial Park. I’m grateful to have been afforded this opportunity to reflect and research new ways in which I can develop my creative practice.”

Over the course of the next 12 months, Sara will be part of a supportive creative community and be provided with creative skills training to develop her business. “It’s been a challenging year for makers, so to be able to offer an emerging maker the space, support and financial assistance the Cork County Councils Arts Office and South Cork LEO have provided is a wonderful opportunity and we at Benchspace are delighted to be able to facilitate this again for the second year in a row for a County Cork Maker.”

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr Mary Linehan Foley extended congratulations to Sara Leslie on winning this award, saying

“The Dearcán Bursary affords a unique opportunity for successful candidates to develop their Arts practice and business. The residency award is a result of a very successful collaboration between Cork County Council’s Arts office, South Cork Local Enterprise Office and Benchspace and is a model of best practice in supporting the Arts locally here in County Cork. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Sara Leslie on this achievement which reflects the quality and potential of her work. The bursary will give Sara the space to research, reflect and engage with her practice both creatively and commercially and will open up many doors to progress her professional career.”

The residency award is a collaboration with and supported by Cork County Councils Arts Office and the Local Enterprise Office in South Cork.


About Benchspace

Benchspace was established in 2017 to provide the next generation of makers, product designers and creative professionals with an enterprise-focused manufacturing facility in the City of Cork. A space where anyone with a passion for product design, or a talent for making can access the equipment, space and resources they need to commercialise their abilities, grow new enterprise, and bring product-based businesses to life.

About The Dearcán Bursary

Now in its second year, the Dearcán Bursary is a collaboration with and supported by Cork County Councils Arts Office and the Local Enterprise Office in Cork County.
The Dearcán Bursary was established to provide artists, craft makers and product designers – currently resident in County Cork – with the opportunity to research, reflect and engage with their practice in all of its creative and commercial aspects.

This award will allow the successful candidate to take a significant step forward in their creative career, by supporting a twelve month period at the Benchspace workshop in Cork City. This includes studio/workshop fees, an expenses stipend and budget towards locally sourced materials.