Centre for Creative Arts & Media launches art residency programmes

Friday, June 27, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

CCAM supports ten artists, a film production company, curator and graduate artists

GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts & Media (CCAM) is delighted to announce a series of exciting initiatives that support artists and film makers in the west. Ten artists, a film production company, a curator and a photographer have been selected for the GMIT CCAM residencies. A new internship programme has also been launched by CCAM in partnership with 126 artist-run Gallery in Galway city, which will support emerging graduate artists.

The artists, who are all based in the west, are from Ireland, the US, Scotland and Brazil. The residencies will provide them with opportunities to research and develop their practice in the privacy of their own studio while having access to GMIT’s libraries and editing facilities.

Six artists have commenced their residencies in CCAM (formerly known as Cluain Mhuire) in Galway. They are Conall Cary, Heather Macali, Marielle MacLeman, Christina Mullan, Tassia Bianchini and Elodie Rein. Four artists have taken up residency in the Mayo campus in Castlebar since early July. They are Betty Gannon, Joanna Hopkins, Amanda Rice and Ian Wieczorek.

Multi-award winning writer/director Paul Mercier and Galway-based film company AGM Productions Ltd have taken up the film residency in CCAM. They are currently preparing to shoot a feature length thriller called Pursuit, directed Mercier. It will be shot in Galway from mid-July and the film crew’s offices will be located at CCAM throughout the production of the film.

Galway based curator Megs Morley has been selected for the curator residency in CCAM.  Working in partnership with Galway City Council, GMIT Centre for Creative Arts & Media, Galway Arts Centre and NUI Galway’s Huston School of Film & Digital Media, she is developing a body of independent curatorial research investigating the concept of the Para Institution, which will explores the parameters and potentials of institution, and co-operation, inter-linking key organisations and practitioners.

The photography residency has been filled by GMIT Fine Art graduate Ruby Wallis, a lens-based artist and PhD researcher at NCAD who has formed a series of experimental and philosophical attempts to represent place through film, photography and drawing.

The artists and organisations attended a meet and greet event in 126 Gallery, Flood Street, Galway, on Friday 4 July, with guest speaker James Harrold, Arts Officer, Galway City Council.

Sarah Searson, Head of the Centre for Creative Arts and Media (CCAM), says the Institute is delighted to welcome and support these emerging and established national and international artists.

“With a number of residencies running concurrently these artists and organisations have the opportunity to develop an informal exchange of ideas and influences and to share expertise.”

“GMIT has a long established relationship with artists since its first art & design course launched in the Dublin Road (Galway) campus in 1972. In 1994, the Art and Design Department moved to the Cluain Mhuire building at Wellpark Road, a former Redemptorist monastery, known today as the Centre for Creative Arts & Media, offering a range of undergraduate programme in film & documentary as well as art & design.”

“Artist’ ideas cannot be fully realised without periods of time devoted to experimentation, education and exploration. They need opportunities to explore at various stages of their artistic careers, and this studio residency gives them a quiet space to focus on their artistic development.”                       

To read more about GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts & Media, visit our website:



View more images of artists, GMIT students, staff and graduates at the launch in 126 Gallery, Flood Street. [Photos by Joe Travers]


About the artists and initiatives:

Galway-based AGM Productions Ltd is preparing to shoot a feature length thriller called Pursuit. The film is directed by Paul Mercier and will be shot in Galway. Shooting begins on 14 July (2014) with preparations commencing 16 June. The film crew’s offices will be located at CCAM throughout the production of the film. The film is a 21st century re-imagining of the Irish romantic legend, THE PURSUIT OF DIARMUID AND GRÁINNE. This Celtic tale of forbidden love, with its power and raw beauty, is given a radical cinematic interpretation set in a contemporary underworld. Multi-award winning writer/director Paul Mercier will brings a cast of Ireland’s finest to the project, along with his reputation as one of Ireland’s leading film and theatre makers.

126 and CCAM have developed an intern programme for recent CCAM graduates who have formed a new venture, the Itsa Collective, which comprises of artists Jason Dunne, Phil Foley, Jackie Burke, Martin Reid and Peter Sherry (CCAM graduates). Their work explores the visual language of film, media, history, culture and the contemporary world and attempt the exploration of an uncertain narrative through cultural, social, and philosophical constructs. As part of their residency internship, the graduate artists will gain experience of working in a gallery setting and also have the opportunity to curate a show in the 126 in December 2014. 126 has developed a reputation as an organisation which supports traditionally unrepresented artistic projects. They have consistently programmed work that other organisations and commercial galleries within Galway and western Ireland’s cultural infrastructure may find difficult. Because they are a not-for-profit gallery space, they are able to make decisions on an artistic, rather than economic basis. 126 is a leader in artists-led cultural innovation in Ireland and is quickly becoming an integral part of Galway’s cultural fabric. For more information please visit www.126.ie

Printmaking and digital media
Conall Cary is a visual artist and printmaker currently working as a member of Backwater Artist Group and Cork Printmakers in Ireland. After studies at the University of Oregon, Conall studied Printmaking at GMIT, graduating with a first class honours degree in 2010. Conall went on to teach printmaking to people with mental health problems as part of his post as Artist in Residence at the Highland Print Studio in Inverness, Scotland.
Recent residencies at the Sirius Art Centre and Cork Printmakers, and the Ratamo Centre for Printmaking and photography in Finland have continued a direction of work that is concerned with modern male identity, in particular the issues facing men living in rural isolated environments. Recently, Conall has been involved in a national touring project called The MACHISMO Project, which further explores and discusses modern male identity in Ireland. For more information about Conall and his work, please visit www.conallcary.com  and www.machismo.ie

Textile, fibre and weaving
As a contemporary fibre artist, Heather has focused primarily on colour, pattern, texture, distortion and memory. Her use of colour and pattern arose out of childhood experiences steeped in the popular material culture of the Midwest in the 1980s and early 1990s. Macali’s work has recently been published in the books Digital Jacquard Design by Julie Holyoke and Textiles: The Art of Mankind by Mary Schoeser. She grew up in Munroe Falls, Ohio and received her Bachelors of Arts in Crafts from Kent State University. She continued her art research and development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, receiving her Masters of Fine Arts in Textiles in 2009. Macali currently resides in Detroit, Michigan working as an artist and a professor at Wayne State University.
For more information please visit: www.heathermacali.com 

Sculpture and drawing
Marielle MacLeman is a Scottish artist based in Galway. She studied Drawing and Painting at DJCAD, Dundee, and works across mixed media wall-based work, object- making, site-specific installation and in participative contexts. She has received awards from The Scottish Arts Council, Glasgow City Council, The Arts Council of Ireland and Galway City Council. Residencies include Galway Arts Centre, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, The Zoology and Marine Biology Museum at NUI Galway and a forthcoming residency with Artshake, Utrecht. www.mariellemacleman.com

Christina Mullan is an artist and researcher working in Galway. She recently graduated from GMIT with an MA in the Critical Theory of Art. Currently she is working towards her Doctorate in NUI Galway in the school of Philosophy. Her work aims to identify key constructive elements of successful artistic practice. It applies a phenomenological reduction to such notions as ‘the void’ and transcendence in the painted image. Utilised in contemporary philosophy and art theory, these terms have until now addressed painting from the position of the viewer, rather than painter.
By considering the role of materials/elements she examines the processes by which contemporary paintings are made and the effect of materials upon the resultant art object. This has resulted in a heretofore unconsidered hypothesis on the nature of materials – their roles in the development of art and their impact on its history. She is concerned with attempting to shed new light by constructing a theoretical and philosophical evaluation based in methodology and the tactile concerns of the artist rather than the galleried consideration of the spectator or critic. Key elements in her work focus on the notion of the sublime, materiality/substance, aesthetics and the phenomenology of the painted image.

Painter and performer
Tássia Bianchini lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. She completed her B. Design in Industrial Design at Federal University of Paraná, Curitiba, Paraná, graduating in 2013. Since then she has been working within the visual arts in various mediums such as painting, photography and digital media.
Developing studies about expression and language, her work aims to relate questions about time, the body and emotion in order to establish a dialogue between artist and the viewer.

Performance and dance
Elodie Rein graduated from GMIT in 2013 with a first class honours in Fine Art. In 2012 she received the Student of the Year Award. Her paintings are highly processed based and take the form of ‘Abstract Improvisations’ that often tease the boundaries of sculpture.
She has been selected to exhibit in shows such as the RDS Student Award, Dublin and Resonance, Galway. Her practice is multidisciplinary, including photography, contemporary dance and is very much informed by Yoga. She has participated in performances like Riot choreography as part as Galway Dance Day 2014, and Shed, a Butoh performance. She is involved in socially engaged collaborative projects in Galway.

An international artist collective founded in Galway City in 2006, Expanded Draught’s aim is to develop new opportunities for practice internationally. The artists have been working and exhibiting collaboratively in the US and in Ireland. The collective have a strong track record in project development, skill sharing & developing new artistic knowledge & work. Through exhibitions, projects, public artwork, workshops and discussions they work within and for various communities of interest, developing new audiences in their chosen locations which can be conventional, unconventional or in the public realm. Currently there are 23 members (seven are CCAM graduates) based between the UK, South Korea, USA and Ireland. Each artist offers a range of knowledge in terms of critical and material perspectives on concept. Expanded Draught has been invited to collaborate in the creation of a large-scale installation in Henry Latrobe’s Pope villa in Lexington Kentucky USA in October 2014. This exhibition is in association with The Lexington Art League & the Bluegrass Preservation Trust. Four of the Irish artists involved will use the CCAM library for research, the editing suite and the studio to cultivate a new body of collaborative work, to be exhibited in Kentucky in September and October 2014 (Allison Regan, Joanne Dolan, Alwyn Revill & Dave Callan).

Ruby Wallis is a Fine Art graduate of GMIT who is Galway based. She is a lens-based artist and PhD researcher at NCAD who has formed a series of experimental and philosophical attempts to represent place through film, photography and drawing. In 2013, Ruby Wallis was selected for joint first prize at Claremorris Open Exhibition by Andrew Wilson, Curator of Contemporary Art at Tate Britain. She was nominated for the Prix Pictet award by Trish Lambe at The Gallery of Photography. She currently lecturers in Griffith College, Dublin, as well as at BCA, LIT and CCAM. Recent academic publications include ‘Unfixed Land-
scape’ The Journal of Artistic Research (JAR) Issue 2 and ‘Autowalks’ Selected Essays from the On Walking Conference (University of Sunderland). During Ruby’s residency at CCAM she is working intensively to bring a current phase in her practice to a resolution in advance of a series of exhibitions over 2014 and 2015. For further details please visit http://www.rubywallis.com

Megs Morley is an artist and independent curator whose extensive national and international practice is primarily concerned with how social and political situations are represented in art, cinema and visual culture. Her work takes the form of film, archival project, artist projects, curatorial practices and writing. The core aim of her practice is to expand criticality on the relationship between image, history, knowledge and power. For more information please visit e www.parainstitution.ie (a website promoting her work as Galway City Curator in Residence)
Megs Morley was awarded an Arts Council Curator in Residence award 2014. Working in partnership with Galway City Council, GMIT CCAM, Galway Arts Centre and NUIG Huston School of Film & Digital Media, she is developing a body of independent curatorial research investigating the concept of the Para Institution, which will explores the parameters and potentials of institution, and co-operation, inter-linking key organisations and practitioners. The first event for the 2014 programme took place on 25 March and took the form of a presentation and discussion with the Egyptian curator Bassam El Baroni at the Taibhdhearc Theatre, Galway. For further details and updates of Megs Morley’s, Curator in Residence please follow  https://www.facebook.com/parainstitution  Email: curatorialknowlege@gmail.com