IN the summers of 2012 and 2014, over the course of a single weekend, over a thousand people visited Sherkin Island. With an average population of 100, this was a significant influx to the island and a boon to the local economy.
What inspired the arrival of so many visitors to this small island off the southwest coast of Ireland? One word – art. The graduate exhibition of the BA Visual Art was in situ on the island and ferry loads of art-lovers came to see it.
And this summer, the graduate exhibition and art trail is back again. Intake to the BA Visual Art is biennial, so this is a new opportunity to view some of the freshest and original artwork in one of the most scenic locations in the country.
Utilising Sherkin Island as both inspiration and installation space, the exhibition will take the form of an island-wide art trail on Saturday and Sunday, May 21st and 22nd. Featuring the work of 17 students, the exhibition will showcase their final year pieces.
The work ranges in media as diverse as painting, drawing, photography, film, multi-media, digital work, installation, sound, projection, sculpture and site specific work using the landscape and local buildings.
The art-trail will occupy a variety of interior and exterior locations throughout the island. There are 13 locations in total, with some spaces being less conventional than others. Visitors to the island will find artwork in all kinds of spaces, including the community hall, a beach, islanders’ homes and the magnificent Sherkin Island Abbey.
This year’s graduates include Deirdre Cairns, Lesley Cox, Lucy Cox, Joe Davis, Jeanne Dunne, Monica Dunne, Elles Inemee, Deirdre Leddin, Brigitte Madden, Clare McLaughlin, Daireen McMullan, Donal O’Connor, Marika O’Sullivan, Detlef Sclhich, Philly Smith, Ben Townsend and Ciara Ward.
Ferries will be running regularly from the pier in Baltimore and, considering the popularity of this event on previous years, extra ferries will be operating. A special price deal will be in place for visitors to Uncover for the weekend, with return tickets priced at €6.
Uncover lunch specials and refreshments will also be on offer at the Islander’s Rest, The Jolly Roger, Sherkin North Shore and Seán the Shops. Bicycles are available for hire and a shuttle bus also runs from the pier on Sherkin at a cost of just €2.
The support of the Sherkin community and the ongoing support of Cork County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht are crucial to the success of the BA Visual Art Degree Programme and to this unique and exciting island art event. Following Uncover on Sherkin Island, BA Visual Art graduates will be exhibiting in the Dublin Institute of Technology Degree Show in Grangegorman, Dublin, from June 2nd to 11th and at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, from September 10th to October 15th.
The BA (hons) in Visual Art Programmme, based on Sherkin Island, is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin School of Creative Arts, Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre and is part-funded by Cork County Council and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.