2022 Dearcán Bursary Announced

Paul McKenna Dearcan Bursary

Bandon based artist Paul McKenna has been announced as this year’s Dearcán Bursary award winner and will receive the bursary of €10,000 to develop his work at one-of-its-kind creative hub ‘Benchspace’ in Marina Commercial Park.

As part of the award, Paul will become a resident of Benchspace where he will be able to develop his work using an array of professional making equipment from the laser cutter, photographic studio, jewellery making equipment to the complete wood working workshop.

Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Gillian Coughlan extended congratulations to Paul McKenna on winning the 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 and South Cork Local Enterprise Office, alongside 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 Paul on this achievement which reflects the quality and potential of his work. The bursary will give Paul the space to research, reflect and engage with his practice both creatively and commercially and will open up many doors to progress his professional career.”

On being awarded the Bursary, Paul McKenna said,

“I am honoured to receive the Dearcán Bursary award.  It’s an amazing opportunity for me to further develop my art practice with expert guidance and support. I have been an admirer of Benchspace as an innovative maker’s space for a few years now, so I am very excited to embark on a residency there. Overall, I feel very grateful to have this fantastic opportunity and I can’t wait to get started!”

The Dearcán Bursary was established to provide creative professionals in Cork County with a year’s long opportunity to engage with their practice with financial, studio and enterprise support. The residency award is a collaboration with, and supported by, Cork County Councils Arts Office and South Cork Local Enterprise Office.

Paul is a Cork born Painter and Printmaker. He undertook his undergraduate studies at St.Martins College, London, in 2000 and graduated with a BA in Graphic design, majoring in illustration and printmaking. He has since gained extensive work experience in various art industries, including picture framing, art materials manufacturing and retail. Since 2013, he has been teaching painting classes to community and private groups.

Paul uses various painting and printmaking techniques in his practice. Inspired by his immediate surroundings, man-made’ vs nature, and memory’s relationship to a sense of place are predominant themes in his work. Depicting how colour, light and shadow play an important role in sensory memory is also a key focus. Paul uses seemingly unremarkable subjects, such as everyday urban buildings, rooftops and domestic living spaces, to visually explore the conflicts between forces of nature and socio economic modernisation.