Artist-in-Residence Programme in Glenkeen Garden, Ireland
"Glenkeen Garden Residencies – ArtNature/NatureArt", the Crespo Foundation’s artist-in-residence programme in West Cork, Ireland, is intended to stimulate an artistic examination of the relationship between art and nature. Glenkeen Garden, which in Gaelic means "garden of the beautiful valley", is a country property belonging to the Crespo Foundation on the south coast of Ireland. The garden was a place where the photographer Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019), the Foundation’s founder, drew inspiration and worked. Several of her photographic experiments and series originated here.
Twice a year for three months each – from March to May and September to November – groups of artists will be invited to Glenkeen Garden to be inspired and work there. The first residencies began in September 2021 during which three artists were provided with accommodation and work spaces at Glenkeen Garden. The second group of artists followed in 2023. The application deadline for the next residencies for 2024 and 2025 ended on April 30, 2023.
Objective of the residencies
The program aims to support the development of artist groups and collectives based in Europe and Russia while boosting their international recognition. The theme of the residency, ArtNature/NatureArt, is inspired by the location, the Glenkeen Garden estate. To thoroughly explore this theme, the Crespo Foundation offers artists the opportunity to collaborate with humanities scholars and scientists in inter- and transdisciplinary exchange. Through this program, artists will have the space, time, and inspiring environment to work together and produce innovative pieces of art that will be shared with the public in different forms, one of which would be an exhibition at the Crespo House in Frankfurt am Main (which is presently being built).
The Jury (of previous application round 2022-23)
- Prof. Gerard Byrne, Film Artist and Professor at Städelschule Frankfurt
- Christian Fausch,Artistic Manager and Managing Director Ensemble Modern Frankfurt
- Dr. Brigitte Franzen, Curator and Director of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt am Main
- Prof. Peter Kogler, Media Artist and Professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Munich
- Matt Packer, CEO of EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial of Contemporary Art
- Daria Parkhomenko, Curator and founder of LABORATORIA Art&Science Space in Moscow
- Prof. Christiane Riedel, Chairwoman of Crespo Foundation
- Judith Schalansky, Writer, Book Designer and Editor
- Prof. Dr. Klement Tockner, Aquatic Ecologist, Director General of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt am Main
The theme ArtNature/NatureArt has been derived from the place where the residencies will be held, the Glenkeen Garden estate. To explore the topic of the relationship between art and nature as extensively and as deeply as possible, the Crespo Foundation provides artists with a network of humanities scholars and scientists for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exchange. The residency programme is supported by two partner institutions: the Senckenberg Society for Nature Research in Frankfurt am Main and the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork.
The local surroundings
The Glenkeen Garden estate was redesigned into thrilling gardens over a 20-year period by Ulrike Crespo and her partner Michael Satke. The estate some 30 hectares in size is embedded in a unique landscape of typically Irish meadows and completely untouched nature stretching down to the shores of Roaringwater Bay on the West Cork coast. It is artistically divided into different areas that are dotted with sculptures by famous artists. Its surrounding area – which includes Ballydehop, Schull, Bantry, Skibbereen and Cork – is artistically and culturally rich, and is home to artists, galleries, arts institutions and festivals, as well as to higher education and research institutes. The artists and scientists at Glenkeen Garden can find partners for their projects from this local network. Two guesthouses provide accommodation and work spaces. > More about the place
Area of focus: ArtNature/NatureArt
We are going through a phase in which people’s relationship with nature is being experienced and defined in a new way. Both arts and sciences have a role breaking new ground in the exploration of this theme, generating new ideas and highlighting new perspectives. Images and sounds, installations and environments can open up innovative perspectives about and in nature. Glenkeen Garden is intended to be a platform for artists in dialogue with scientists to develop projects in the context of ArtNature/NatureArt.
Throughout history, in numerous cultures and religions gardens have been interpreted as symbols of paradise-like harmony. Monastery gardens, baroque gardens and Zen gardens too were often geometrically arranged in enclosed worlds. Since the Enlightenment, however, the garden of paradise has increasingly become synonymous with a primeval landscape, a world before civilisation. Today gardens are also a laboratory in which to observe the many and diverse networks in life and the connections between “symbiotic planets” (Lynn Margulis).
W. Michael Satke: "You learn to look very carefully, you study the composition of the soil, you develop a sense of the location, of the plants, of colours and relationships, you venture out in the rain to see where the water puddles on the surface, and where it drains away. Suddenly you discover things you have never seen before. (...) And careful observation teaches you something else – to be gentle. Gardens educate those who tend them."
Glenkeen Garden is itself already a place where art and nature exist alongside and with one another. Half of the garden has been designed, the remainder left in its natural state (as one of the first wild gardening projects), and it provided the artist Ulrike Crespo with countless themes for her photographic work. The residency programme continues this examination of nature and allows a new generation of artists to explore and see the garden from different perspectives. Their works produce an artistic kaleidoscope in which Glenkeen Garden is reflected as a perfect representation of the relationship between people, art and nature.
Ulrike Crespo: "A garden changes by the day, as does life. There's always something new, something hidden, waiting to be discovered. What's there today may be different or gone tomorrow; and something else crops up instead. Even light and mood change in the course of a few moments, which has a lot to do with us, too. One blossom fades while elsewhere a bud is about to open and surprise us once more."
"Glenkeen Garden Residencies" is supervised and coordinated by Ben Livne Weitzmann:
residency (at) crespo-foundation.de