What an incredible day we had on 18th February. We’ve estimated that approximately 150 people crossed our threshold on Saturday!
We had an extra special guest, Peg Ahern, from whom we purchased the house. It was the first time we met her and it was very moving to watch her take in all the changes. She was delighted to see the house being cared for again.
There were a number of people who called in that have known the house for a long time, as well as people whose curiosity had built up over many years and could finally take a peek. We had a strong arts community contingent from East Cork and as far afield as Cork City. My mother-in-law came down from Wicklow to man the tea table, and the ladies from my yoga class descended on us, arms full of home baked cakes!
Our dear friend Stephanie Guilmette, who is staying with us for three months to help work on the house, created an exhibit of relics from the previous occupants up in the future movement studio.
We tried to give our guests a sense of the house’s history, as well as an idea of where we are going with it. We tried to answer questions like “what is an artist’s residency?” because it’s not a common term for those outside of the arts. It was fantastic to listen to people’s ideas for ways the space could be used, and we were overjoyed by offers of donations of things on our wish list. We now have a list of volunteers we can call on to help us out.
Clare Byrne’s work-in-progress showings had a great turnout. Clare played guitar, harmonica and keyboard while singing her own soulful folk-bluesy
repertoire. She incorporated contemporary dance that emerged from the rhythms she played on her instruments. Her movement ranged from robust to viscous to contemplative. And there was even a cameo performance by an toddler running through the space!
At the end of the day we felt full. Grateful. We were riding high on the positive energy that filled the house. Our guests were so warm and welcoming.