Rising Sparks for a Rising City

Rising Sparks for a Rising City

Rising Sparks for a Rising City

Corks Emerging Artists set to shine with support of Anonymous Donor

Innovative, ground-breaking and imaginative programmes secure backing

Ground-breaking arts projects which allow emerging Cork artists to break-through in the wake of Covid-19 restrictions are to go ahead after securing support from an anonymous donor through The Community Foundation for Ireland.

The Foundation has announced that three local groups have secured support from its Cork Arts Fund which was established after a donor came forward with €200,000 to support projects aimed at giving artists determined to overcome disadvantage an opportunity to highlight their talents.

Announcing the successful projects The Community Foundation has paid tribute to the passionate, energetic and vibrant artistic community undeterred by the huge challenges of the past 18-months.

Each has been selected on the basis that it will address or give voice to social disadvantage or injustice. The projects include 10 theatre productions, Bursaries and Artists in Residence Programmes as well as Exhibitions of new works. All have a strong community component.

The three projects are:

The Rising Sparks Programme by Benchspace in the Marina Commercial Park. Rising Sparks will engage artists from marginalised and disadvantaged communities who work with wood, textiles, jewellery or metal. Five will be offered year-long support to discover and nurture their talents before showing their ability to the wider community at a special Rising Sparks Exhibition.

The Cork Arts Theatre on Carrolls Quay is establishing a new Creative Empowerment Award Programme. Theatre companies and artists are invited to develop new stage works. They will be diverse, forward thinking and adventurous and will be supported by the theatre’s Artistic Director, Technical Director and other production expertise.  Cork audiences can look forward to 10 new premiers at the theatre.

Sample-Studios in Churchfield is providing residencies for at-risk and marginalised artists. In a first of its kind project for Cork a framework has been developed for holistic, practice-based learning, experimentation, and collaboration by at-risk and marginalised artists. Art and creative practices will be promoted as a means of cultivating personal development and cross-cultural understandings. There will also be a focus on building sustainable community alliances and social solidarity.

Announcing the projects, Denise Charlton, Chief Executive of The Community Foundation for Ireland said:

“This funding is a direct result of an anonymous donor who issued a challenge to the Cork artistic community to come up with work which pushed boundaries, opened minds and gave voice to those who are too often excluded or silenced. Benchspace Cork with this project tick each and every one of those boxes.

The result will be work from new and emerging artists which will create energy, excitement and vibrancy to communities not just in Cork but further afield. Without Benchspace Cork these are talents which may not be realised. It is a tribute to all involved that after a year of huge difficulty that their passion, vision and commitment to bring about positive change has in no way been diminished.”

2021 Dearcán Bursary Awarded to County Cork maker Sara Leslie

2021 Dearcán Bursary Awarded to County Cork maker Sara Leslie

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.

Benchspace Designer in Residence – 2021

Benchspace Designer in Residence – 2021

Benchspace invites applications from established and emerging creative professionals and artists, working in all materials including wood. The current Designer in Residence Programme combines workshops and public talks, collaborative creative work and mentoring, of which the delivery is adaptable in light of social restrictions.

Applications are also welcomed from academic staff of noted programs in any discipline seeking a period of return to a studio environment. The Programme offers participants the latitude and creative environment to explore new bodies of work or methodologies.

The Designer in Residence Programme is designed to bring established and upcoming designer makers or artists to Cork, Ireland, to showcase their work to a local audience and to contribute fresh perspectives to the Resident Makers at Benchspace.

The Programme will afford the successful candidate the opportunity to create a new body of work or facilitate the exploration of innovative methodologies. It is hoped that it will also provide an in-depth opportunity for Benchspace makers and the wider community to learn from the Designer in Residence during workshops, lectures, and special programs.

The resident will arrive during Cork Craft Month, mid-August 2021, with a presentation of their body of work to the public. There will also be an opportunity to share the ongoing work with a wider audience on Cork Culture Night at the end of September. Finally the residency will culminate in the completed work being displayed in an associated Gallery space.

 

Please find full details on how to apply here

New Operations Manager for Benchspace Cork

New Operations Manager for Benchspace Cork

The Board of Benchspace Cork has announced the appointment of Maeve Murphy to the new position of Operations Manager. 

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.

Announcing Ms Murphy’s appointment, Fergus Somers, Chairperson of the Board of Benchspace, said: “On behalf of the Board of Benchspace, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Maeve Murphy to the new position of Operations Manager. Maeve joins us at an exciting time of development and growth and her appointment now marks an exciting step in the implementation of the Regional Enterprise Development Fund grant that we were awarded last year from Enterprise Ireland. Maeve will bring a wealth of experience and energy to the role which will be of major benefit to the organisation. Maeve will play a key role in developing and implementing our strategy to develop a pathway for the next generation of makers, product designers and creative professionals to engage with Benchspace.

Commenting on her appointment, Maeve Murphy said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to be leading Benchspace Cork and extremely excited about joining at this pivotal moment in its growth. I want to continue to build on the success and ambitions of this energetic and dynamic organisation. Supporting and growing creative enterprises and communities has been a strong theme throughout my career. I’m excited to be working with an organisation that is encouraging the growth of creative enterprises and also retaining that talent in the south west region of Ireland. I’m looking forward to working with our Chairperson, the Board, the Benchspace makers and all our partners.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

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 Maeve Murphy

Maeve is a passionate advocate for Irish craft & design and brings with her a breadth of experience spanning arts management and practice. She holds a BA (Hons) in Design in Textiles from GMIT and an MA in Cultural Policy & Arts Management from UCD. With over 10 years’ experience working in the Arts across multiple disciplines, Maeve has worked with Music Network, Music Generation and was the Programme Coordinator for the West Cork Chamber Music Festival. Also an entrepreneur, Maeve co-founded Forest & Flock, an independent Irish craft & design retail shop. Previously she held the position of Operations Manager with Cork Craft and Design and Programme Coordinator for Cork Craft Month working closely with over 100 Craftspeople and Designers in County Cork.

BENCHSPACE CORK COMPANY LIMITED BY GUARANTEE – Company Number: 602718

DIRECTORS: Fergus Somers, Tony Farrell, Alice Dooley, David Scannell, Peter Johnson, Ian Barron, Christine Byrne, Sam Russell

DIR 2020: An introduction to the history of French cabinetmaking, from Louis XIII (17th century) to the early 20th century

DIR 2020: An introduction to the history of French cabinetmaking, from Louis XIII (17th century) to the early 20th century

Benchspace’s Designer in Resident 2020 Élise Rousselot shared her amazing knowledge about furniture design with us in a presentation about “An introduction to the history of French cabinetmaking, from Louis XIII (17th century) to the early 20th century.

If you missed the event last Friday and/or would like to hear more about the eras influenced cabinet making in France and the materials & tools that were available at the time, you can watch the recording of the talk here: