Residency complete- what an experience!

If anyone reading is thinking about doing a residency I would absolutely recommend it! Last year I applied to Cill Rialaig Artist Residency in Co. Kerry, Ireland as I had heard a lot of good things about it plus it’s a part of Ireland I don’t know that well. Also at the time of application, I was a bit stuck in my work and thought a residency would be a good change of scene/ pace. I applied June 2018 (the application was pretty straight forward cv, statement, proposal) and by June 2019 I was driving down the road to my studio cottage!

Before arriving I was a little concerned about the solitude as its been a while since I’ve had so much time in my own company. I decided to be selfish to anything outside of my work. I made a list of things I was not to think about (I’m getting married in August so wedding prep was included which was hard!!) to allow myself to stay focused on painting; I’d been given this time and fantastic space and I wanted to take full advantage.

Cill Rialaig is very beautiful and very remote. I did not see or speak to anyone for the first two days and then slowly began to bump into other artists, writers, composers who were also doing residency’s there- Cill Rialaig revealed itself as a great little melting pot of creative minds.

I won’t lie it took me a few days (my residency was for one week) to adjust to a different studio rhythm from London. Once I got my routine (beach walk, breakfast, paint, lunch, paint, walk/drive, read, maybe more painting before bed) I was fully immersed in my work and focused on what I wanted to do.

Now, I’m back in my London studio and feel like I’ve found my rhythm in painting again. I can see how this residency has helped me; theres strong developments in the work I made plus a direction for future work from studies and notes made in my visual diary. I have thought of my time there many times since I got back and it’s like a little reminder to motivate or to get off my phone/laptop and just get stuck into painting again as I did in Cill Rialaig, which is what I’m going to do now!

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