This BA degree in Visual Arts is an outreach course which takes place on Sherkin Island off the south west coast of Ireland. It is the only outreach degree of this kind in the country and has been running for many years.
The idea of the course is to give students, especially islanders, who missed out on a university education when they were younger, the chance to return to college to pursue a degree qualification in the arts. Because of their diverse backgrounds the students bring a wealth of talent and experience to this course. The competition for places grows year on year. The resultant standard is extremely high.
Seventeen students submitted their final degree projects this year. The students present their work in various locations around the island. This exhibition is open to the public. The 2016 exhibition is entitled Uncover.
I was unable to visit every student’s work so apologies to those whose work I was unable to see.
Much of the work is concerned with conceptual art. I have rarely been so moved by work as I was by that of Lesley Cox. She investigates the connection we all have to the uterus.
Other work, which I found outstanding, was Imagination-Emigration by Philomena Smith. The work represents this idea by linking Philomena’s life in the textile industry to her sense of misplacement or not belonging.
Detlef Schlich’s work, also struck me as very professional. It consisted of a film installation in three parts. The work is concerned with developing an alter ego. His work can be seen here
Deidre Buckley Cairns was a stained glass artist before she started her A Visual Arts course and this influenced her final project. This is about the link between colour and memory.
Other beautiful work included Brigid Madden’s project on the invisibility of displaced people in our world
Although many students used photography in their exhibits there was only one photographic project and this was the work of Jean Dunne which was truly stunning.
Since much of the work was conceptual it was tricky to photograph. One such project was Whispers by Daireen McMullan.This was about how the wallpaper is a witness to our secrets and our hidden lives. the room was dark with only a single lamp. It made me shiver to enter this space. The silhouette of the child struck me as meaningful so I left him in as he is not recognisable.
Lucy Cox’s work is concerned with environmental, political and spiritual elements.
Some of the images I made did nto do justice to the students work so I have not included them – for that I apologise.