Artist Bursaries Droichead Arts

Artist Bursaries

Droichead Arts Centre Announces Recipients

For First Strand Of Artist  Bursaries In 2021


Our doors might be closed but the creativity continues

Droichead Arts Centre is excited to announce the recipients of their first strand of ARTIST BURSARIES for 2021, supporting the work and development of artists in this region.  In February, Droichead announced that it was offering funding to professional artists from Louth and East Meath with three bursaries of €4,000 each.  These bursaries, funded by The Arts Council, were open to artists working in all disciplines and art forms including (but not limited to) visual arts, film, literature, music and theatre.

The Centre engaged a panel from a variety of disciplines in the arts world to assess and advise on the selection of the recipients of the bursaries.  This panel was made up of Dorothy Smith (visual arts), Dani Gill (literature), Pauline Ashwood (music) and Colin Thornton (film and theatre).

Collette Farrell, Director, Droichead Arts Centre “Droichead received almost 50 applications from professional artists based in Louth and East Meath. The quality and standard was extremely high and our panel had a really difficult job choosing the recipients.  It was wonderful to be introduced to so many different projects, and artists, and as a result, we have decided to award three bursaries of €4,000 each, and an additional seven smaller development and seed bursaries.”  The centre will also provide support in kind, including space and mentoring as required, and will assist with documentation of projects. 

€4,000 Bursaries

  • Dee Walsh – Visual Artist
  • Jaki McCarrick – Writer
  • Róisín Ward Morrow – Musician/Composer 

€1,000 Development Bursaries

  • Aoibhéann McCann – Theatre Maker/Actor
  • Frank Kelly – Filmmaker

€500 Seed Bursaries

  • Adrian + Shane – Visual Artists
  • Claire Fitch – Sound Artist
  • Geoff O’Keeffe – Theatre Maker
  • Joel Safo – Artist Manager / A92
  • Sharon Skerritt – Theatre Maker/Actor

Visual artist Dorothy Smith commented “I was delighted to be asked to help adjudicate the inaugural Droichead Bursary Arts Award. It is important to support artists at this current time and these awards will contribute to building a strong arts infrastructure in the north east region.”

Pauline Ashwood, Artistic Director, Drogheda Classical Music said “It was a privilege to sit on the panel of the inaugural Droichead Arts Centre bursary. I was heartened to see the standard and diversity of work and creativity from artists in the North East.”

€4,000 Bursaries awarded to:

Dee Walsh – Visual Artist

Dee Walsh is a visual artist from Drogheda and a member of The Borrowed Ground Collective. She works primarily in painting and drawing. Her work is rooted in a fascination with the urban landscape, and she creates pieces by layering architectural elements and geometric forms to produce colourful landscapes that drift into the surreal.  Dee Walshe said “The bursary will gift me the time and materials to create an exciting new body of work.  I aim to create a series of large-scale paintings, that are based on the architecture and vacant spaces within Drogheda. This work will be created through layering architectural elements of these spaces, creating colourful and possibly drifting into the surreal landscapes.”

Jaki McCarrick – Writer

Jaki McCarrick’s play ‘Belfast Girls’ was developed at the National Theatre Studio, London and has been staged many times since.  Her play Leopoldville won the Papatango Prize and in 2020 she was shortlisted for the An Post Book Awards Short Story of the Year Award.  Jaki’s project is the completion of her first novel ‘The Bright, Bright World’. Set in Ireland, on the Cooley Peninsula area of the Irish border, in the run up to the banking crisis of 2008, she is currently working on a first draft.

Róisín Ward Morrow – Musician/Composer

Róisín Ward Morrow is a fiddle player and folk singer from Co. Louth. Her debut album ‘By the Light of the Moon’ was launched to a sold out audience during Fleadh Cheoil 2019.  Róisín is a former Leinster Fleadh champion fiddler, an alumni of the TU Dublin Conservatoire and was also a member of The Cross Border Orchestra who she performed with in Rome, Shanghai and The White House for

President Obama.  Róisín’s project ‘Women in Folk Song’ will endeavour to construct a collection and a homage to women in folk song telling the stories of their past. The bursary will also allow for Róisín to work and arrange with fellow Co. Louth musician and award winning composer, Breifne Holohan.

€1,000 Development Bursaries awarded to:

Aoibhéann McCann – Theatre Maker/Writer

Aoibhéann McCann trained at The Oxford School of Drama, after achieving an honours degree in French & Sociology from Maynooth University. She works extensively in screen & theatre, recently winning the highly prestigious Best Actress Award in the Irish Times Theatre Awards 2020 for her role as Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar Named Desire.   Aoibhéann is writing and developing a new play “Legacy”, with writer and director Karis Halsall: A one-woman, multi character show celebrating the unorthodox females in our lives.

Frank Kelly – Filmmaker

Frank Kelly is an award-winning independent filmmaker from Drogheda. Over the last two decades he has made numerous films, including shorts, documentaries, feature films, experimental films and worked with community groups in the area.  Frank’s project, “The Gaps”,  looks at making low budget films in the gaps of our lives. With this project Frank will make three short films, write a book about the subject, and end with a talk on the entire process, showing others how they can do it too.

€500 Seed Bursaries awarded to:

Adrian + Shane – Visual Artists

Adrian+Shane are two artists working together as one since 1998. Using paint, collage, stencils, photos and video to create what is, without a doubt, pop art. Much of their work includes self portraiture.  “Better You” explores the impact of being bombarded with advertisements and unattainable images on social media promising a better life if we obey their message, largely compiled of imagery from 1950’s adverts.

Claire Fitch – Sound Artist

Claire is a sound artist, an electroacoustic composer, a writer of electronic literature, a cellist and a lecturer.   Her project, Populated Solitude, is a transmedia arts practice work exploring the between-two of solitude and is inspired by stories, memories and artefacts relating to locations within the Heritage Quarter in Drogheda.

Geoff O’Keeffe – Theatre Maker

Geoff O’Keeffe is a theatre director, facilitator and drama adjudicator. As a director he has worked on both contemporary and classical texts and has a particular interest in image-based theatre. He holds an MA in Theatre Studies from DCU.  Using the Siege of Drogheda as a starting point and the River Boyne as an integral part of the town, Geoff’s project explores the imagined story of an unnamed man, and he will develop a one-man theatre performance, that will initially culminate in a work in progress showing.

Joel Safo – Artist Manager

Joel Safo was born in the Netherlands and came to Ireland at the age of four. Founder of JSM management and the head A&R (Artist & Repertoire) at Trust It Entertainment, he is heavily involved in the Irish urban music scene and is also the founder and manager of the Irish rap collective “A92”.

This bursary will assist Joel in the development of a music and multimedia studio in Drogheda, that will support the work of professional musicians, but will also be open to young people from all backgrounds and cultures.

Sharon Skerritt – Theatre Maker/Actor

Sharon is a theatre maker, and film and theatre actor, with a BA in Theatre Performance and an MA in Theatre Practice. Having performed in Dublin theatres for many years this is her first time working with Droichead Arts Centre.   Her project Singled Out will take a look at the everyday barriers single parenting brings to the family and to research and create a piece of work that represents the private chaos that is single parenting. ‘The things people don’t say’ Virgina Wolf .

Photo includes Top L-R: Adrian & Shane, Aoibhéann McCann, Claire Fitch, Dee Walsh, Frank Kelly, Bottom L-R: Geoff O’ Keefe, Jaki McCarrick, Joel Salvo, Roisin Ward Morrow, Sharon Skerritt

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