Creative Killeagh to Launch Oct 31st!


We have some seriously exciting news to share with you: Greywood Arts initiated a project called Creative Killeagh, and we’ve received the necessary funding to make it happen!

Creative Killeagh is a series of arts workshops, performances, and events for the Killeagh-Inch community leading up to May Sunday 2018.

The program includes:

  • Two Artist-in-the-Community Residencies here at Greywood Arts.
  • A large-scale community project developed in collaboration with local groups. The community project draws on the history of Killeagh’s May Sunday Festival and the village’s stunning Glenbower Wood.
  • May Sunday festivities on 6th May, 2018.

Creative Killeagh is the only East Cork recipient of the competitive Cork County Council Creative Communities grant!

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With Cork County Mayor Cllr Declan Hurley at the awards ceremony.

Their generous support of €13,000 will bring at least five different artists to Killeagh to work with people in the village, and will help fund the May Sunday event. The project has also received €1,000 from Creative Ireland for the first artist residency. Initiated by Greywood Arts, the project will be shaped in partnership with community groups including the Killeagh-Inch Community Council, Inch Fóroige, and local volunteers.

Creative Killeagh launches on Halloween and all are welcome to the celebration. There will be traditional Halloween games and treats, a performance, and the Creative Killeagh programme will be announced. Head to the brand new website, for more information.

Creative Killeagh kicks off next week with W O O D S H O P, the brainchild of Irish artist Léann Herlihy. W O O D S H O P is a collaborative art project that explores craft and social values. Motivated by the materials, skills, and practices of Killeagh’s former sawmills, Léann will lead craftsmanship workshops, give an artist talk, and create a performance.

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You can find details here on

The remainder of 2017 will yield a period of research by the Collaborative Community Arts Project team: Lisa Cahill (movement/education), Carol Anne Connolly (visual arts/community projects), and Kara Sweeney (photography/film). The new year will bring more workshops, events, and artist-in-residence Sara French. The project culminates on May Sunday (6th May), historically an important festival date for Killeagh. Traditionally, May Sunday was the only day villagers were invited up into the then private Glenbower Wood. The festival continued until 2001 and is much missed by many locals.


We believe you have to make the kind of community you want to live in, and we want Killeagh to be invigorated with creativity. It’s important that we listen to our neighbours, discover what people desire here, and what they are missing – like the May Sunday festivities.



Best. Culture Night. Ever.

We had a blast last night hosting the Bureau of Surrealist Enquiries. A mix of families and adults came to learn about the Surrealist movement, make collages, play the collaborative exquisite corpse drawing and poem writing games, and to try blackout poetry. Once we got started there was no stopping us!


We began by taking ourselves to 1920s Paris, and talking about how WWI turned everyone’s lives upside down. Since we process our world and our emotions through art, artists were ready to find new ways of thinking. Some of the things the surrealists valued were juxtaposing everyday objects in unexpected ways (the element of SURPRISE), mining their DREAMS for writing and drawing – not worrying about the logical, letting the IMAGINATION guide us, and letting the subconscious take the lead (FIRST THOUGHT, BEST THOUGHT). All the while, music by Surrealist era composers played in the background.


We worked non-stop for over an hour!


And then we unveiled our Collages & Exquisite Corpses:

Stopping for a Surreal Snack (the pop-rocks were unexpected!):

We read some wacky poetry:

And finished up with some group photos:

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Upcoming, and just gone…

We’re wading into the thick of September and the nights have begun to close in earlier. Where has the summer gone? It feels like it flew by, but looking back, it was quite full.

Read on for a re-cap of all the excitement August brought as well as upcoming events and residency opportunities. And check back Friday, as we have some exciting news to share. 

August kicked off with a concert and BBQ with the inimitable Clare Byrne and Brooklyn, NY band Ink the Octopus. You can read all about their gig here, which overlapped with photographer Aissa Lopez‘s residency.


photo credit:

We next hosted performer and theatre maker Noelle O’Regan – you may have spotted her leading the Cork Ghost Tour – as she developed nascent material. Noelle visited Killeagh’s Sheela-na-gig, an ancient carving linked to fertility that is said to ward off evil sprits, for inspiration.

On the 26th of August, we celebrated Heritage Week with a concert by Cork Baroque Players: Eimear Ready, Marja Gaynor, and Caitriona O’Mahony . The trio of cello and violins played beautifully, with snippets of information and anecdotes interspersed between the songs. A lovely way to spend a Saturday evening!

We also had the wonderfully wacky Lords of Strut here, fresh off a stint on Britain’s got Talent. Famous Seamus and Seantastic were rehearsing their hilarious new family show, Absolute Legends, in preparation for Dublin Fringe. We were so lucky to get invited to an open rehearsal, and even better – we got to extend that invitation to a few local Killeagh families that have been so supportive of Greywood Arts from the start.

Our next big event is a family drawing, collage and poetry workshop for families on Culture Night, Friday September 22nd. Let us know if you are planning on joining us for this fun evening!  CULTURE NIGHT POSTER

We are also quite excited to announce our new Winter Writing Residency Award, a competition to win a one-week residency between January and April 2018. Writers of short stories, plays and poetry are invited to submit unpublished works. An author from each category will be awarded cosy self-catering accommodation and private work space overlooking the Dissour River. At the end of each residency Greywood Arts will host an intimate reading in our library where writers can share their work. Deadline October 15th! Greywood Arts Writers Residency

Last, but not least, we are pleased to announce the start of East Cork Art Share – a monthly opportunity for makers of visual, performing, written, and musical arts to engage with each other. Come to Greywood Arts, enjoy a cuppa, and talk about your practice, your process and even the challenges you are facing. Share the projects you’re working on, gain feedback, network, and converse with fellow local artists.

ECAS Cover Photo

The Art Share is an informal meet-up where participants can shape the content to serve the needs of our community. We invite and encourage speakers, demonstrations, as well as hands on skill sharing. Help strengthen the already vibrant community of creatives spread throughout the eastern part of the county.

The first meeting will be Thursday October 5th from 7-9pm. All welcome.
Next meetings: November 9th and December 7th.

Artist-in-Residence: Aissa Lopez

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting photographer Aissa Lopez. Aissa is originally from the neighbouring town of Youghal, but has recently been living in Sweden working on a masters. Her studies will take her to Iceland next and I am very jealous!

One of my favourite things about having Aissa in residence was getting to hear her family stories and childhood memories, as well as snippets of Youghal history. The settings in her stories are vivid and tactile-wallpaper, old hardwood floors, the shop where she helped her grandmother. It makes perfect sense that her work would be rooted in the domestic sphere, and informed by the details of its architecture.

If you use Instagram, you should really follow Aissa’s page. Scroll down a bit for shots from her residency. I’m in love with this one of our oddly shaped window as you head up to the studio:

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From Aissa:

In my current work, I have been using the house or home to explore nostalgia, memory, the uncanny and folklore. As a result I was delighted to be awarded the artist residency at Greywood Arts . It was built in 1767 and Jessica and Hughie have done much research on its history. Knowing this I expected to be inspired by the general character of such an historic building, what I was not expecting was to be utterly charmed by it.

As an artist who borders on obsessed with the domestic space and old buildings, I was struck by what individual character Greywood Arts has, due to it being preserved and added to by the current occupants. Nothing is standard, windows, doors and floors all vary. A dream for me, as I am an interested in these often-overlooked details in the background of our everyday lives.

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Photograph of model based on space at Greywood Arts

I took hundreds of digital photographs, and some analogue, having become captivated by the light let in by the many different sized windows. An essential part of my process is photographing and drawing what I am interested in, from which I build in miniature, with paper, my interpretation of these details, spaces and/or rooms. This usually takes quite some time, but in the supportive, undisturbed atmosphere of Greywood Arts I have already constructed enough to begin photographing the recreations. I plan to make more work based on the amazing Greywood Arts’ building. I feel very lucky to have had the time here, the atmosphere Jessica and Hughie have created meant I was able to work and reflect on my practice. I leave very inspired.

We were so grateful to have Aissa share her unique process with everyone who came to the Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus show. It is really important to us that our local community understands what goes on here. We are all about process, with no pressure on artists to create a finished product. But with the special connection to the house, we’re hoping Aissa will share the fruits of her labour with us in the future!

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Photos from Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus

We had such a great night with Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus last week!

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It was really special to have Clare back with us after her residency in February. As a development space, we’ll often see work in progress, but it was wonderful to present the material fully developed just a few months later. Clare’s performance was not without a bit of movement thrown in, too!

Dan & Remy from Ink the Octopus were such a pleasure to host – though we expected nothing less from friends of Clare. They’re incredibly talented musicians, and they even got the crowd involved in a sing-song!

We had great attendance (35+ people) and good food. Hughie was stationed at the BBQ, which had to be moved inside due to weather. Despite a bit of smoke, it ended up making for a cosy evening.  We were delighted to welcome so many new faces.

Aissa Lopez had her work on display in the studio upstairs. We were so grateful to have her give some insight into her process during her residency! Stay tuned for a blog about Aissa later this week.

Thanks so much to everyone for coming! Let us know if you enjoyed what you saw – and what you’d like to see more of in the future.


Concert & BBQ Wed Aug 2nd

February’s artist-in-residence, Burlington, VT based Clare Byrne, just can’t stay away from Ireland! This August, she returns with friends Dan Strauss and Remy DeLaroque of the Brooklyn, NY based duo Ink the Octopus for an evening of folk rock.  Photographer-in-residence, Youghal native Aissa Lopez, will be on hand to talk about her work-in-progress.

Join us on Wednesday August 2nd at 6:30pm. Admission is a suggested 5 euro donation which will go to the musicians. Food & drink will also be available for a small donation.

Clare Byrne Ink the Octopus Poster Web

Aissa Lopez is currently based in Gothenburg, Sweden. She has a Masters in Fine Art from the National College of Art & Design, Dublin and recieved her BA from The Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork. Her current work uses sculpture and photography to explore issues around the domestic space. She will be working in response to the architecture of the Greywood Arts building while here. Aissa is interested in how buildings can become loaded with meaning which ties into the concern in her work of belief; be it religious or ghostly in nature or in connection to folklore, memory and the stories we tell ourselves.

These photographs are of paper model reconstructions, based on places the artist has lived.


What happens when a Vermont country-based singer-songwriter and an urban alternative acoustic duo from Brooklyn, NY come together for a common purpose? A week of musical exploration and touring in Ireland

Byrne and Ink the Octopus bring city and country together: sharply crafted songwriting in heart-and-soulfully rollicking folk-indie arrangements on guitar, keyboards, harmonica, percussion and harmonizing vocals. The three musicians draw on influences diverse and rich: Wilco, Simon and Garfunkel, Joan Armatrading, and Joni Mitchell.

Listen to an interview with Clare about her time at Greywood Arts & the upcoming concert on ArteFact Radio: 

Byrne is a lifelong contemporary dancer and choreographer who picked up the guitar six years ago and began a second career in music & songwriting. Remy De Laroque started a career as a singer in the French band Dyva, signed to the French Record Co. Carrere. He moved to NYC and collaborated with Rebecca Martin and Rew in addition to promoting his own career. Dan Strauss is a connoisseur of instruments who calls the recording studio his true home. He began learning piano as a boy by playing Springsteen and Beatles songs, eventually taught himself guitar and began writing songs in his twenties.

Though they have always supported each other musically in New York City and Vermont. DeLaroque and Strauss formed Ink The Octopus in 2016 to truly merge their musical journeys and are releasing their debut EP this summer. Byrne also released her first EP, Seed in May 2017, in a recording and release party that included Strauss and DeLaroque.

Won’t be in Killeagh on August 2nd? You can catch them Elsewhere on their Irish tour:

August 1 Workman’s Pub, Dublin
August 3 Crowley’s Bar, Kenmare
August 5 Roisin Dubh, Galway
August 9 NellieFred’s, Dingle

We’re Open!

I’ve been trying to write this post for three weeks now, but can’t seem to find the words. If you’ve been following along with this blog, you already know we’ve been working on the house for two years. You have a fair idea of all the work that’s gone into creating the space now known as Greywood. You’ll know we began hosting artists-in-residence back in February, and perhaps you were even at our Opening Celebration July 1st.IMG_9720-T

It’s taken some time to process everything that’s happened since moving to Ireland in 2015. We were pretty wrecked after the Opening. And we wanted to spend some quality time with our intern, Samantha, before she returned to Belgium. It’s not the same without her here – she is sorely missed!!! But now, sitting in the library with the cat on my lap, let me tell you how it went.   

IMG_9572-TThree weeks later, people are still commenting on how much they enjoyed the Opening Celebration. Anna Mitchell’s concert under the marquee was a highlight of the evening. Everyone loved her voice. Ilse de Ziah was playing cello in the library as guests came in, and the Exile Micro-bookshop was beautifully on display there as well. It packs up into two little vintage suitcases. People really took their time looking at the Greywood House history exhibition Samantha Agneessens put together in the Movement Studio. Naomi Litvack gave a wonderful talk about how she spent her time as artist-in-residence in the week leading up to the Opening. She opened up the floor for questions and engaged with attendees. Natasha Bourke’s performance art alter-ego, Coneface, appeared and disappeared throughout the night. Childrenwere especially taken with it, joining in at times. We were really pleased with the food, which we catered ourselves.

East Cork Journal and the Irish Examiner both sent photographers, plus we had the fantastic Amanda Bimonti on hand for the entire evening. All photos in this post are by Amanda and more can be seen on her Flickr page or on our facebook.

 There was undoubtedly a festive feeling as approximately 100 people filtered through Greywood. Visitors of all ages traveled from as far as Dublin, though most were from East Cork and Cork City. We were honoured to have our local TD, Minister David Stanton, give a brilliant speech before the champagne toast.

Minister Stanton said:

I think we’re all blown away by this – it’s absolutely fantastic. I want to thank Jessica and Hughie for the invitation here this evening – for your vision, and for your hard work of what you’ve been doing here, and for what you’re going to do, which is even more inspiring.

How great is it to be thanked not only for what you’ve achieved, but recognised for what you’re trying to do in the future???

It’s easy for us to walk around the house and see only the things that still need doing. It feels so good to have people come in that knew the house before the builders, or saw it as just a dusty stone shell, and to see their reactions. It’s incredible to look back at photos from when we first bought the house, and be really proud of how far we’ve come. Because we started out looking at even larger buildings, this one seemed manageable in comparison – but we have been reminded that what we took on was still an enormous challenge!

I’d like to share a message from our friend Lisa, who volunteered at the door that night:

It was a beautiful evening. What you created was and is so special. People recognise this. I heard such beautiful comments as they came in and out. I felt very proud to be a part of it all. 

We’re proud too, and grateful to the community of well-wishers supporting our vision.  We’re taking a moment to savour that feeling. But only a quick one – there’s so much more to do!


So what’s next?

  • We’ll have a new logo to show you soon!
  • Wednesday August 2nd be here for a folk rock gig and BBQ with Clare Byrne (February’s artist-in-residence) and Brooklyn duo Ink the Octopus at 6:30pm.
  • Save the date: Saturday August 26th at 6pm for a Heritage Week concert
  • Save the date: September 22nd, Culture Night – join us for a family-friendly workshop making Surrealist drawings and poems.

Update 28/7: Listen to some sound bytes from the Opening on ArteFact radio – thanks Éanna!