Deadline: 14/01/2018

How to Flatten a Mountain, 2018

An opportunity for artists whose practice makes use of digital or analogue photographic processes.

Description of residency program
How to Flatten a Mountain is an exciting residency opportunity for participating artists to explore possibilities outside their core practice, work collaboratively and produce a cohesive exhibition of work to be presented at PhotoIreland Festival 2018.

During the residency, participants will take an active part in a series of workshops led by guest facilitators and as a group will be sharing ideas, making work, processing, printing, editing, as needed, always working in collaboration. As an integral part of the residency, three artists based in Ireland will facilitate day-long workshops to provoke and animate different avenues for thought. Each facilitator brings to the residency new perspectives, challenges and opportunities for participants.

This residency opportunity is sure to result in the production of new work, introduce participants to a network of practitioners from a diversity of locations, provide a fantastic exhibition opportunity and open up new possibilities within each participant practice.

Duration of residency
The residency is twelve days and is comprised of three component parts; workshop facilitation, open studio time and the installation and opening of an exhibition in Dublin for PhotoIreland Festival 2018. The first five days of the programme will be comprised of a carefully selected series of workshops, readings and presentations designed to stimulate the creative process, facilitate collaboration, familiarise participants with the people and places of the locality and tease out shared curiosities and thematics. The following five days provide the necessary time and space to create new work. Following on from our initial workshops, the open studio time allows for participants to re-visit sites of interest, research, print and finalise work for presentation. The final two days will be spent in Dublin installing the exhibition, culminating in an opening on the final evening of the programme.

Disciplines, work equipment and assistance
Applications are open to emerging and mid-career visual artists whose artistic practice in whole or part makes use of digital and/or analogue photographic processes.

The studios are well-equipped. There is a black & white darkroom capable of making prints up to 50 x 60 cm (20 x 24 in), and a computer lab with Apple Macintosh computers, a high-resolution film scanner, an Epson 4900 printer, Adobe Creative Suite and wireless broadband. There are two Nikon D3300 Digital SLR cameras with a variety of lenses, a selection of tripods, studio lights and seamless background papers. Artists may also use our various manual and electric hand tools including a table saw, mitre saw, router, wood plane, circular saw, jig saw, a variety of sanders and power drills in addition to a selection of clamps, fasteners and glues.

Additional art supplies provided at the studio include Ilford HP5 film in both 35mm and 120 formats, Pearl Ilford Multigrade IV RC paper in 5"x7", 8"x10" and 11"x14" sizes and rolls of paper for our Epson 4900 in both a lustre and matte finish. There is a selection of papers including, newsprint, 100, 150 & 300-gram cartridge paper, 300-gram watercolour paper and a selection of coloured A3 pastel papers. There is also 10 oz (339 gram) unprimed cotton canvas that measures 183cm wide. The studio is stocked with student grade watercolour & gouache by Reeves, a variety of water-based inks by Winsor Newton, Daler Rowney System 3 acrylic paint, student grade oil paint by Winsor Newton, solvent, gesso and a variety of mediums.

Artists may avail of disposable paint palettes, palette knives, brushes and oil dippers. Additionally, the studio is also regularly stocked to ensure plenty of darkroom chemicals, ink for the printers, graphite pencils, charcoal, colour pencils, watercolour pencils, oil pastels, chalk pastels, markers, erasers, scissors, sharp Exacto knives, cutting mats, masking tape, drawing clips, fixative and PVA glue, A3 & A1 size drawing boards and easels.

Cow House staff can provide up to one hour of studio assistance daily. This can be arranged directly with Co-Directors Frank Abruzzese and Rosie O’Gorman during regular hours between 10 am and 5 pm. Additionally, there will be several workshops presented during the course of the residency where artists will work with facilitators individually and as a group presenting new material, participating in critique and performing studio visits.

Accommodation for artists is beside the studio is a 300-year-old barn that has been transformed to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere for guests. For this residency, artists will share a room with up to three other people. The shared experience of living, eating and spending time together, forms an integral part of life at the Cow House. The Barn contains five en-suite bedrooms, a cosy dining room, a large living area, an expanding visual arts library, and a busy kitchen where Caitriona and Frank prepare home cooked food.

At the Cow House food is taken seriously. Everyone eats three delicious and healthy meals a day, and accommodations can be made for any specific dietary needs, whether it be food allergy, vegetarian or vegan requirements. A variety of cuisines are prepared, from Irish to Mexican, Italian to Middle Eastern, and use ingredients that have been produced locally: fresh milk and cheese, natural Irish beef and lamb, and delicious root vegetables, not to mention home baked breads, fruit preserves, ferments and delicious desserts.

The Barn is just beside the O’Gorman homeplace and in the past, was used as horse stables, dog kennels, storage for grain and potatoes and at one time housed workers who would have helped work the land. It’s not uncommon for family members to pop in for a chat or share a meal. The Barn is an integral part of the family homestead; giving residency artists a sense of the living history that makes short or long stays at the studio a special experience.

Studio/ workspace
The studios are housed in a lovingly converted stone barn. Built in 1915, it was a working “cow house” until 2006. With its dense stone walls, abundant natural light, and high ceiling supported by striking wooden beams, the Cow House is architecturally unique at twice the width of typical Irish stone barns. Today, the 343 m2 (3700 ft2) open plan studio contains a darkroom, computer lab and lounge. The studios were designed for flexibility of use, the Cow House contains 4 individual spaces, and a shared open studio floor for larger group projects and alternative working methods.

Fees and support
Price: €950

Price Includes:

  • three delicious and healthy meals daily while at Cow House Studios
  • lunch and dinner while in Dublin
  • most comfy accommodation while at Cow House Studios*
  • informative and challenging readings, workshops and presentations
  • travel to and from Dublin
  • ink and paper for our printers, film and b&w paper for darkroom
  • access to all Cow House Studios facilities, computers, darkroom, and studios

*Price does not include room and board while in Dublin.

Expectations towards the artist
This residency is intended to provide time and space for artists to make their work independently and artists are expected to participate in organised workshops and the subsequent exhibition opportunity. Additionally, artists are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which allows all participating artists to make the most of their time at Cow House and abide by our guidelines for safe conduct outlined during orientation upon arrival.

Application information
Submit the following documents in PDF format by Sunday, January 14, 2018.

  1. Completed application form
  2. Recent CV/resume
  3. A portfolio or writing sample (only one pdf file). Although there is no maximum number of images that will be accepted, we advise applicants to only submit relevant materials to reduce the size of email submissions. The images should include captions or short descriptions. For videos/films/audio, you may provide links to your own website, Vimeo page, YouTube page, within the application form. Do not attach actual video files. Writers should submit up to ten pages of written material.

Please submit electronic copies of the three attachments in ONE email under the size of 10 MB to 

You will be contacted by a Cow House Studios representative to confirm receipt of your application within five working days. Successful applicants will be contacted by Monday, January 29, 2018.

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How to Flatten a Mountain, 2018

How to Flatten a Mountain, 2018


Application deadline

Residency starts

Residency ends

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Cow House Studios