LOCAL KNOW-HOW is a Creative Enquiry Artist Residency project in association with the Sirius Arts Centre.
The residency focuses on researching latent forms of local knowledge and skill that hold significant social and economic histories and an enduring relevance for current public discourse around sustainable living strategies.
Local Know-How explores the ‘re-learning’ of local traditional skills and knowledge to make, repair, reuse, forage, hunt or grow from older generations living in the Cobh and Great Island area.
This local form of wisdom once taught families and communities how to be resourceful, often born out of necessity. Today this ‘know-how wisdom’ potentially holds important value and renewed purpose to recover a more sustainable way of living.
Project runs until December 2019.
Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People is financially supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaion Invitation to Collaboration scheme, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, and the HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare - Cork South Community Work Department, with in kind support from Age & Opportunity, and each host arts organisation: Cork Midsummer Festival, Music Alive and Sirius Arts Centre
IoD (Institute of Dwelling)
The IoD (Institute of Dwelling) is a collaboration between artists Colette Lewis, Marilyn Lennon and Elinor Rivers.
The IoD’s creative actions are regenerated from vernacular building and folk practices, exploring the landscape that lies between ritual and routine. We reconstruct situations where we present ourselves as the architects, planners, surveyors, or constructors of our own dwelling places. Through a series of interventions we act out ways ‘folk’ share skills and knowledge required to make a living space. These actions are playful entry points and devices to provoke the collective imagination.
Milk of Israel comprises of two video works: Yacov Yanki Jack and Monitors I - IV. The main title is translated from the Hebrew word ‘Chalav Yisroel’ which is a Jewish religious term referring to dairy products derived from cows or sheep milk, milked under supervision of an observant Jew. Kosher foods are foods that conform to the regulations of Jewish dietary laws found mainly in the ancient biblical books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy.
Set against the backdrop of the dairy farming community in Kanturk Co. Cork Milk of Israel follows the supervision process of Super Kosher milk production in North Cork Co-operative Creameries for Yavney Food Industries in Israel. The work brings together two very different worldviews through a niche economic exchange located both in the creamery and on the dairy farms.
Exhibition text ‘The Word’ by Maria Tanner.
IMAGES: Documentation of installation in Sirius Arts Centre, Cobh, Co. Cork 2015.
Yacov Yanki Jack screened in IndieCork Film Festival and Short Irish Film Showcase, Liverpool Irish Festival 2015.
Yacov Yanki Jack
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St Finbarr’s Hospital Cork
TODAY is a photography project with staff in St Finbarr’s Hospital Campus over a three year period 2014 - 2016. The project focuses on the ephemeral and relational, foregrounding the connective aspect of our experience of place and being.
As is suggested in the title, ‘TODAY’ intended to capture a moment in time in the life of the hospital campus during a time of significant structural and personnel changes on campus. Old buildings were being renovated and repurposed as new workspaces. Large numbers of HSE staff were relocating into these rejuvenated workspaces creating a new assemblage of healthcare activities operating within the grounds of the hospital campus. A key aim of the project as initiated by the HSE South Arts and Health Programme was ‘to support staff integration of personnel on campus’ amidst this climate of change.
The project culminated in two photographic books: ‘TODAY | PHOTOGRAPHS’ presents a series of photographs by staff in response to their perspective and experience of the hospital campus and ‘TODAY | PORTRAITS’ presents a series of environmental portraits of staff photographed by artist Colette Lewis.
Project supported by HSE South Arts & Health Programme
TODAY was presented as part of Check In Check Up 2018: Building Momentum arts and health conference in the Crawford Gallery, Cork.
TODAY project is a featured case study on Arts+Health.ie website:
RehabCare Bruach, Cork Site-specific installation, colour digital photography and text 2009
dreamWorkers project investigates the subject of work occupation within the context of a disability social and healthcare institution. A central question investigates the potential and possibility to create ones own vision and dream occupation.
The project began shortly after the closure of the last Sheltered Workshops in December 2008, an occupational service in RehabCare centers in Ireland and Europe. Based in The Guesthouse, the project took the form of a research group with service users from RehabCare Bruach in Cork. Using a research-based process, current affairs themes around the labour market, access to employment for people with disabilities and media representation were investigated.
An exhibit manifestation of the project was a site-specific photography and text installation in RehabCare Bruach resource centre. The installation functioned to open a new space within the institution to imagine oneself and others differently. On one wall, a series of portraits of service users and staff in RehabCare holding a handwritten sign proclaiming their dream occupation. In this context the sign is used as a strategy to address institutional identities of individuals differentiated by the roles of service providers and service users. On the adjacent wall, the complete text of the International Standard Classification of Occupations. The ISCO text functions as a point of reference of occupational classification. It stands as a counterpoint to re-imagine and recreate oneself outside of an institutionalised identity and classified role.
In association with RehabCare Bruach and The Guesthouse, Cork. Project funded by the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by CREATE.
Ideal State Agency
Ideal State Agency is a collaborative art project formed in 2004 with artists Elinor Rivers and Irene Murphy. The aim of the project is to respond to and interpret the city using visual arts practice. In making visual the fluid and transcient nature of the city, the project investigates that which falls between the gaps of conventional categorisation and the impact of urban planning on human need.
Ideal State Agency have created public events, interventions, products and services.
Ideal State Electric Rain, Live Art & Multimedia Event Club One, Cork 2004
Ideal State was the formative project of Ideal State Agency (ISA). The collaborative group formed while working together to both curate and make new work on residency in Bratislava Slovakia for an Electric Rain Live Art, Music & Multimedia Event. The event was part of the Day of Welcomes celebrations in Cork and its twinning with Slovakia.
For this project ISA responded to the expansion and formation of the 'new European state'. The event was curated to simulate a 'micro-state' experience. The work presented at the event included a curated selection of Irish and Slovakian sound and performance art, film and video screenings, photography projections and installations. ISA created a series of products that could be bought with 'bread currency' exchanged with euro at the bureau de change on entry to the event. Products were sold by ‘Avant Garda’ whose function was also to integorrate the audience with cultural questioning. A 'real estate' stall presented properties and sites in Cork city with potential cultural value. A cultural bar served samples of Slimovich, Borovich & Murphy's Irish Stout.
Participating artists included Ideal State Agency, Urb Sounds Collective (Bratislava), Fergal Dowling, David Stalling, David Dobz O Brien, Barry Foley, David Kavanagh, Trigger Productions, Daithi Mac An Bhiocaire, Nevan Lahart, Cian McConn, Marion Schmoranzer, Helle Kvamme, Snatch Comedy & Li.
Event production crew: Irene Murphy, Elinor Rivers, Colette Lewis, Robby Collins, David Dobz O Brien, Marcus William Reynolds, Daithi Mac An Bhiocaire, Dee Hurley, Claire Guerin, Kieran Bulman & Niamh Lawlor.
Complaints & Compliments Department Public Intervention CorkCaucus, Bishop Lucy Park, Cork 2005
Complaints and Compliments Department activated in Bishop Lucy Park to provide a free service offering to write letters on behalf of the public about any form of complaint or compliment they wish to make. Ideal State Agency invited artist / psychotherapist Ger Staunton to participate in facilitating the letter writing process. The public had the option to send, keep or burn their letter.
Colette Lewis & Beryl Beruil Public Intervention, various locations 2005
A travelling project that engages the public in the process of exchange, memory and souvenir. Souvenirs are made from written memories and collected objects that the public source and can then exchange at the stall for another's souvenir.
Project made in collaboration with artist Beryl Beruil (FR).
Presented in association with CorkCaucus, National Sculpture Factory, Cork, Encounter's Residency Programme @ St. Finbarr's Hospital, Triskel Arts Centre, Cork and Park in Progress, Pepineries pour Europeannes jeune artistes, Paris.
Colette Lewis & Colleen Bartley Digital Video 9' 30 minutes 2006
Exhibitionist explores the choreography and theatre of social interaction in a public gallery space.
Set within the context of the framed space of the camera, the artist’s (person in the red hoody) ‘performed’ movements are made in response to the ‘natural’ movements and interactions of the incidental public. In how people interacted in the gallery, their ‘natural’ movements at times take on a performance like quality thus obscuring the candid nature of the filming process.
Filmed on location in the Turbine Hall in the Tate Modern Gallery in London during Bruce Naumen’s Raw Materials exhibition, a sound installation of spoken text. Made in collaboration with London based movement artist Colleen Bartley (US).
Body Of Water
Colette Lewis & Colleen Bartley Digital Video, 4' 50 minutes Colour Photography, mounted on dibond & matt laminated, dimensions 91cm x 61cm 2005
In drawing attention to the human body, its vulnerability and sensitivity as a body of water the work explores the nature of the body's fluidity and form.
The human being as we see him is a completed form. But this form has been created out of movement. It has arisen from those primeval forms which were continually taking shape and passing away again. Movement does not proceed from quiescence; on the contrary, that which is in a state of rest originates in movement. – R Steiner.
A collaboration with movement artist Colleen Bartley (US). The work originated from a walking journey from the source of the River Lee at Gougane Barra, Co. Cork to the sea at Weavers Point at the mouth of Cork Harbour.
Project created as part of the Cork Artists Collective Residency Programme funded by Cork 2005.
Training to be a Service User
Digital Video Documentary 15 minutes 2004
This project came about in response to a series of debates occuring at the time in RehabCare around the definition of work and identity for people with disabilities involved in Sheltered Workshops. A key concern hinges on what differentiates work activity from therapeutic activity? And what does the change in identity from 'trainee' to 'service user' mean for people involved in Sheltered Workshops?
Sheltered Workshops date back to 16th century France and in Ireland had a rapid expansion in the 1950's due to incentives by voluntary organisations to provide vocational training and employment for young people with mental disabilities. The legal status of activity in sheltered workshops is inherently problematic due to a conflict in its definition as work or therapy. As people received a small financial pay or allowance for their involvement in Sheltered Work activities, there are questions about the legal implications where workshops are “paying” people much less than the national minimum wage.
Project made with the participation of a group of people working in the General Industrial (GI) sheltered workshop in RehabCare in Hollyhill Cork. Questions around issues of work and identity for people with disabilities are explored within the context of the past and future direction of Sheltered Workshops in RehabCare.
Four years after the making of this project in December 2008, Sheltered Workshops closed in all RehabCare centers in Ireland and Europe.
Project funded by the Arts Council Artist in the Community Scheme, managed by CREATE.
Digital Video 3' 20 minutes 2003
A study through movement exploring the human desire for separation and longing for union.
A Day Of Rest
Digital Video 8 hours 2001
Filmed over a period of 24 hours on a Sunday in my childhood bedroom in the family home. Footage was recorded for 5 minutes every 15 minutes. The camera was hand held for the duration of filming process documenting my body's endurance, observation and shifts between states of rest and unrest.
Produced in association with the Cork Film Centre Video Art Mentoring Project