I don’t have a lot to add to what Pamela and Don have already said (Nov. 11th. posts): Cill Rialaig has a unique atmosphere, which fed directly and indirectly into our work. Paradoxically, while most artists come to the Retreat to work in solitude, we came with the deliberate intention of living and working in close proximity to each other. Although collaborative working remains a challenge, it’s an enjoyable one, and we are establishing new ways of co-operation as we get to know each other better.
Views from an Irish perspective on the “Le Chéile” project:
The recent sojourn at Cill Rialaig has further consolidated the project but on a different level. As we get to know each other better I think that we are becoming more adventurous in the collaboration, appropriating each others images and plates. There has been a slow build up of trust between the artists and a genuine exchange of ideas and work.
The group structured the residency very well with initially an exchange of ideas and a presentation of each artist’s work. This was followed by several ‘show and tell’ sessions where we shared our concepts, drawings, progress in platemaking and ultimately first proofs. There was a free exchange of information on techniques and processes as well as an exchange of proofs and plates.
While most of us were quite familiar with each other after Nant Gwrtheyrn, it was a great opportunity to get to work with and to know Veronica better. If we can manage to maintain the momentum we may well be into the most interesting stage of the project to date.
The time at Cill Rialaig was inspirational. The setting is fantastic.Having individual studio space within a community of friends and colleagues, sharing work, techniques and ideas was energising and creative.
Initially LeCheile was about working in collaboration in making work. For me the group feel to have moved on from this to a more communal approach. There is still some working together on shared plates but there is a developing and deeper sharing of culture and ideas that has enriched the work of the group.
Our meeting at the Cill Rialaig artists’ retreat in the far west of Ireland has been a great success. The retreat is based in a village of restored houses in the far south-west of County Kerry. The whole area is a popular holiday destination, but by the end of October most of the visitors have gone home and the countryside is waiting for winter.
Seven le Chéile artists stayed together here over a 10-day period, soaking up the atmosphere, working and talking. As with our visit to Nant Gwrtheyrn last year, a great creative “buzz” developed during the stay. The Cill Rialaig Project runs a fully equipped print studio in the nearby village of Ballinskelligs, and we managed a considerable amount of printmaking there and in our mobile temporary print studio at Cill Rialaig itself.
Thanks very much to Margaret Becker for arranging our stay, and to Noelle Campbell-Sharpe, the founder of the project.