Tell me about ... Work Shop in Bantry

February 23rd, 2024 1:12 PM

By Southern Star Team

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MARK WICKHAM and TARA KENNEDY have developed a new creative space in the centre of town.

What inspired you to start the workshops?

We moved to Bantry last summer and were casually looking at potential spaces to work from in town. We shared a studio space in Dublin; Tara is an architect and I’m a designer and illustrator, and we were curious to see what was available. When we first looked at the space about a year ago, we instantly thought it would be a perfect place to run workshops from.

It’s a large room, bright with lovely big windows and a really nice ambience, and space for all our books and drawing materials! Drawing is part of our everyday work life and we both also teach in different colleges so setting up a creative space and offering drawing workshops was a natural choice. We decided not to overthink and jumped straight in to see if there was an appetite and so far the feedback has been really positive.

Why did you choose Bantry?

We both have family connections in Cork, Tara’s parents live in Cork city and mine are in Bantry, I grew up here. We have two young children and passing on our love of the outdoors was obviously more suited to living in a more rural setting. Apart from the natural beauty right at your doorstep, Bantry has a lots to offer so it wasn’t a very difficult decision.

Who are the workshops aimed at?

The workshops and courses are for everybody. Our aim is to foster a love of drawing and confidence exploring creativity at all levels. Since we opened our doors we’ve had attendees ranging in ability and ages from five to 85.

What’s the most important qualities when drawing?

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re drawing is to enjoy it. The experience of drawing should be relaxing and rewarding. Most people just stop drawing at age eight or nine when the dreaded line ‘I’m no good at drawing’ is uttered. We try and get people to focus on the process of making a drawing rather than the end result.

The skill of drawing lends itself to so many professions and endeavours but it’s also one of the best forms of relaxation and escapism. Getting in to the habit of drawing regularly hones your skill and ability and if you remember to enjoy it you’ll feed the habit.

Tell us about some upcoming workshops?

Animal art club, comic club on weekday afternoons, and Saturday morning movie drawing club; a new digital drawing course for teenagers starting on March 2nd and we will also be running a poster design course for adults in March. We are also working on developing some collaborations.

Recently we had our first non-drawing workshop series in the form of a geology course focusing on the landscape of Bantry Bay, run by Ronan Hennessy. It was really well received and we’re hoping to run it again in the coming months.

For Workshops see: . For courses see

More information on Work Shop can be found at

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