Residency: Askeaton Contemporary Arts, County Limerick, Ireland, 20–29 July 2018


The annual residency programme ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ curated by Askeaton Contemporary Art's director Michele Horrigan has situated Irish and international artists in the midst of Askeaton, a small town in County Limerick since its conception in 2006. Over one hundred artists projects have been realised in public spaces throughout the town, bringing forward layers of daily life and creating a rich framework for encounters.

In its thirteenth year, the 2018 edition of ‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ invited artists Matt Calderwood, Jonny Lyons, Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriartyand curators Gareth Bell-Jones (Flat Time House, London) and Latitudes

The programme began on July 14 and wrapped up on July 28th with an Open Day where the artists-in-residence unveiled the works they had been produced.  

Event programme.
Latitudes arrived at Askeaton on the 20th, following a short stint in Dublin's The LAB Gallery where they participated in a closed-door seminar in the context of the exhibition ‘I Slept Like A Stone’ curated by Sheena Barrett and Julia Moustacchi.

"Many public events have occurred during Welcome to the Neighbourhood, each introducing new perspectives to the role and purpose of contemporary art and knowledge production in the Limerick region. Public talks by Gareth Bell-Jones (Flat Time House, London), Latitudes, Patrick Comerford and Karin Dubsky (Coastwatch Europe) explored topics from contemporary curating practice to El Greco and marine ecology. Carl Doran’s ongoing collaborative work with Askeaton Castle’s conservation theme was showcased, while Anthony Sheehy led tours of Askeaton’s medieval heritage." [Text by Askeaton Contemporary Arts




Askeaton's square. Desmond Castle in the background. All photos: Latitudes.
Artist and "Welcome to the neighbourhood" mastermind curator Michele Horrigan in the Desmond Castle.

Artist Sean Lynch talking about the previous editions of "Welcome to the neighbourhood".
Sunday BBQ with ACA family. Rory Prout (left) and 2018 "Welcome to the neighbourhood" artist Matt Calderwood (right).

Local guide Anthony Sheehy has led tours around Askeaton since 1964.

(Above and below) Visiting the RUSAL Aughinish alumina plant near Askeaton.

Picnic site on our way to Lismore Castle.
2018 "Welcome to the neighbourhood" artist Niamh Moriarty and ACA Assistant Curator, Jessica Kelly.
(Above and below) Visiting Lismore castle’s impressive gardens.
Detail of Stuart Whipps's work included in "The Expanded Field" exhibition co-curated by Lismore Castle Arts and Askeaton Contemporary Arts at the St Carthage Hall, Lismore, which also presents works by The Center for Land Use Interpretation, Olivia Plender, The Domestic Godless, Superfolk and Filip Van Dingenen.
(Above and below) The Grange Stone circle, the largest stone circle in Ireland, was built by the Bronze Age people who lived around Lough Gur in 2100BC.
 Enchanting studio visit with local legend and stick-maker Seanie Barron.
View of Desmond Castle from the top floor of the Civic Trust.
 Banqueting Hall next to Desmond Castle, also under restoration.
Tour by the OPW workers restoring Desmond Castle.
As we later learn, these two rectangular columns in Askeaton's Friary contained a much-hunted treasure. It became the spur for Latitudes' research in the links between Barcelona and Askeaton. To be continued...

In "The Pilgrim", Latitudes reprised a 1984 article written by Tim Kelly in the back issues of The ABC News, Askeaton’s annual journal. Made available online and through social media platforms, an excerpt was heard at the Franciscan friary, of a dramatic narrative bringing to life a cryptic inscription found in the cloister there that reads "Beneath lies the Pilgrim's body, who died January 17, 1784". The story is read aloud by artist Carl Doran. The tale involves an Italian, a Spaniard, and a morbid blood-hunt that links Barcelona with Askeaton. 


Cloister in the Franciscan friary.
Ray Griffin's magic hands fabricating Matt Calderwood's boat.
Matt's first rehearsal, testing the oars on the River Deel. 
Ray and Matt carrying the boulder to the water.

"London-based artist Matt Calderwood’s installation Erractic (Approximately 4.5 Tonnes) can be seen floating on the River Deel. With a healthy interest in what the artist describes as the “non-expert production of things”, Calderwood without any prior experience, guidance or clear blueprints, constructed his own boat, and vigorously rowed it up and down the Deel. On the Open Day, it is seen on the river with what appears to be an enormous rock inside it. The longer you look at this apparition, the more uncomfortable its appearance becomes as if the boat and stone were a tangential echo or parallel universe of the stone buildings and maritime traditions of the region. In addition, a series of large-scale prints detail a selection of Askeaton stones, some real, some not, seen in various locations throughout the town." [Text by Askeaton Contemporary Arts]

Matt floatin’ out on the River Deel. He sails off accompanied by two show-dog Rottweilers (they are not part of the work!). 
Matt Calderwood and rock on the River Deel in front of Askeaton's 14th Century Franciscan Friary
(Making of) Jonny Lyons's "Joyride" during the morning high tide at the River Deel. 

"Glasgow-based artist Jonny Lyons debuts a new installation, Joyride, at Askeaton Community Hall. Impressed by the rhythm and assured style of card playing he encountered in Askeaton, his artwork was realised in collaboration with local card sharks William Sheehan, James and Antoinette Fitzgerald, and Noel McCarthy. Surreally they appeared unannounced early one morning at high tide in the middle of the River Deel, playing the trick-taking card game of forty-fives that originated in Ireland on a specially constructed pontoon." [Text by Askeaton Contemporary Arts]

Players signing two joker cards.
On Saturday 28 July, the Open Day, over 50 guests joined the tour which took of from Askeaton's Civic Trust.
 Matt Calderwood's boat made a new apparition upstream for the Open Day.
Calderwood displayed some large prints at a former hair salon. Below Calderwood discussing his work in dialogue with Sean Lynch.
Jonny Lyons new installation, Joyride, at Askeaton Community Hall. Featured in Latitudes' August 2018 Monthly Cover Story (after August it will be archived here).
A paparazzi moment with the artist and the card players. Below Lyons' installation presents the table borrowed from Ranahan's pub on the pontoon, alongside a fresh Guinness pint, two signed joker cards and the 7 of hearts – the card that blew away during the making of.
 Ruth and Niamh reenact the small photograph on the upper left which can be found at Cagney’s Bar – featuring two local women aside a broken-hearted Kiefer Sutherland (here brought to life by artist Jonny Lyons). 

“Dublin and Sligo-based artists Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty are known for their intense sensitivity to microhistories and the local. In recent days they have uncovered the story of Hollywood star Kiefer Sutherland’s visit to Askeaton, soon after being dumped by Julia Roberts days before their planned wedding in 1990. A 24-year old Sutherland ended up in the west of Ireland where, in his own words, he was going to “try have a drink in every town I passed through.” Clinton and Moriarty’s artwork acts as a form of fan fiction, a stream of consciousness spread throughout the rooms of Cagney’s Bar and Ranahan’s Pub. A lino print and video accompany a photograph of Sutherland partying in Askeaton, while the artists will perform an intimate scripted theatrical performance in the snug of Ranahan’s at 3.15pm and 5pm respectively.”

It's been grand!

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