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
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!
Image: The cottage/ studio that I stayed in during my residency