Artist Studios, Exhibition & Education Spaces Open at Cork Art Residency

At the Official Opening of the Greywood Arts Residency Coach House Pic Darragh Kane

Cork, 27 April 2023: The Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD officially opened a new resource for artists in Cork today, when he cut the ribbon at the Coach House of Greywood Arts. The 250-year old coach house at Greywood Arts Residency & Creative Hub in Killeagh has been brought back to life, following an extensive refurbishment programme over the last 2 years. 

The addition of studios for up to 4 artists, exhibition and education spaces, adjoining the Greywood Arts Residency in Killeagh provides ample workspace for local artists, teaching spaces for after-school classes and further adult education workshops, as well as a flexible event space for exhibitions, workshops and cultural events including literary readings, film screenings and musical performances. It is a significant addition to the Arts scene in East Cork, Munster and Ireland, led by Greywood Arts.

Speaking at the official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, Minister McGrath said, ”Investing in the arts and resources for creativity in our community is hugely important for our society as a whole. Providing these important facilities for artists rewards us all on so many levels, from the creation of new works to the appreciation and enjoyment of art. I commend Greywood Arts Residency and Creative Hub for their expertise, insights and hard work in bringing this project to fruition, and I acknowledge the important role that funding from Cork County Council, LEADER, Tomar Trust and the local people of Killeagh played in this vital resource for the Region.”

The Coach House redevelopment received €167,600 in funding under the LEADER Rural Development programme 2014-2022 through Cork County Council’s South Cork LCDC with implementing partner SECAD Partnership CLG.  Funding donations from over 200 local people totalling €15,000 and a significant contribution by the charitable trust, Tomar Trust, also ensured that the project came to fruition. 

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Danny Collins said, “On behalf of Cork County Council, I am delighted to see this important project come to fruition in East Cork. This exciting initiative will not only foster creativity and artistic expression but also enrich the cultural landscape of our community. Along with our partners in this project, I would like to congratulate Greywood Arts for their vision in redeveloping this creative hub and look forward to seeing the exciting ideas and collaborations that will emerge.”

Artistic Director at Greywood Arts, Jessica Bonenfant said, “We are so excited to extend not just our facilities for artists, but to really extend our impact in the community, through creative programming, education and greater engagement with the creative process, enabling us to reflect on and understand the world around us, building empathy and ways to express ourselves. The Coach House is an important addition to East Cork on so many levels.”

Speaking on behalf of SECAD, CEO Ryan Howard said, “The impact of this funding, administered by SECAD, will yield very significant return, not just for the arts community but for the wider community in East Cork. The Coach House will be a resource for education and creativity, as well as attracting people to Killeagh from around the county, province, country and even abroad.”

The opening of the Coach House comes as the May Sunday Festival & Art Trail is about to launch at Greywood Arts on 29th April.  The festival, which has an incredible line up of creative workshops, art to see, and fun for all the family, runs from 29th April until 14 May at Glenbower Woods in Killeagh. 

Announcing the Inevitable Ether Residency Award

For the second year in a row, Greywood Arts and the National Space Centre are delighted to co-host visiting artists who engage with themes of outer space, technology, and speculative futures in their work for a residency project and exhibition in November 2022.  

We are thrilled to announce collaborators Emilia Tapprest and Valerie van Zuijlen as the recipients of the six-week residency which entails studio space at Greywood Arts and access to the NSC’s busy satellite groundstation campus. The artists captured our imaginations with their project Our Side of the Moon and its distinctive investigation of technology, communication and humanity. Their stunning collective aesthetic is underpinned by intellectual rigour contrasted with embodied approaches to understanding the world around (and beyond) us. 

Valerie and Emilia will use their residency to film and develop immersive and poetic scenes for their docu-fiction film project Our Side of the Moon. Their work and research will be showcased below the Big Dish at the National Space Centre as part of Space Fest November 18-20. Audiences will get a window into the artist’s practice through the use of multi-screen setups that map the mood and rhetoric of this particular moment in time in relation to space.  


Our Side Of the Moon

With over 150 applications, from 40 widespread countries, the selection process was incredibly competitive. The panel, consisting of Greywood and NSC staff, as well as artist Scott Gorham, were astounded by the breadth of engagement with space themes from artists around the world. 

The residency is named for Agnes Mary Clerke (1842-1907), an Irish astronomer and writer from County Cork, Ireland.

Through her quarter-century career, she became a leading commentator on astronomy and astrophysics in the English-speaking world. The lunar crater Clerke is named after her.

She was the author of Modern Cosmogonies, whose chapter “The Inevitable Ether” inspired the title of this award.

Alongside the Our Side of the Moon video installation will be collaborative works created by 100 young people from St. Fergals National School (Killeagh), Gaelscoil Mhainister na Corann (Midleton), and the Greywood Arts Youth Club that have participated in our STEAM programme. Facilitated by artist Roisín White, young people have learned  how both photographs and space telescopes use light to give us pictures of the past. The young artists have created photographic images that utilise morse code to project their questions for the universe into outer space. 

Bookings for weekend exhibition visits and tours of the NSC can be booked at

The exhibition opening on Friday November 18th is by invitation only. Please contact us at if you would like to request an invitation. 

Podcast Feature: Greywood Arts on The Arts House

“What have hidden rooms, a German piano, Arboreal Book Club, the Irish National Space Centre, a Swedish film company, a dancer, a heron, five hens, a typewriter and a mischievous goat got in common?” We’ll give you a hint: it starts with Greywood and ends with Arts.

Greywood Arts is thrilled to feature on a recent episode of The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe. Last week Elmarie paid us a visit and was treated to a tour of Greywood by our Artistic Director Jessica Bonenfant. Jess shared a little about Greywood’s history, current projects and hopes for the future, including news of the current Coach House renovation. With a guest appearance from current artist in residence, actor and writer, Paul Layton.

Take a listen to hear about the unique creative spaces within Greywood’s main 18th century house which welcomes visiting artists in residence alongside members of the local community throughout the year. Many of our upcoming workshops also get a mention, including our August 11th Arboreal Book Club meeting and Wednesday Craft & Cuppa open studio sessions to name a few.

If you fall in love with Greywood at first listen, there are many ways in which you can get involved. Join us at our upcoming workshops and events – check out our current Meaningful Conversations summer/autumn programme here to see everything we have on offer. For Artists, we have an excited funded opportunity: The Inevitable Ether – A Residency Award from Greywood Arts & the National Space Centre which is now accepting applications. Our 2023 Creative Process Residency is also now accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Elmarie Mawe presents The Arts House on Cork’s 96fm — The latest news and reviews from the worlds of Theatre, Cinema, Showbiz & Literature. Listen in on Sundays, 8-10am.

Greywood Arts 5th Birthday BBQ!

You’re Invited! Greywood Arts is Hosting a Birthday Party BBQ to Celebrate Five Years of Art, Creativity and Community.

Greywood Arts welcomes you to a sizzling summer BBQ as they mark five years of their artist residency programme and community events in Killeagh. Taking place on Saturday 9th July, 4 – 8pm, all are welcome to join the celebrations and enjoy an evening of live entertainment under the marquee at Greywood Arts. Free entry, no booking required, drinks and snacks will be available to purchase. 

Adding to the fun, Cork-based band ​​The Underscore Orkestra will be performing, bringing their blend of Balkan, Klezmer, Hot Jazz, Swing and Americana to the event, rain or shine. And partygoers can enjoy hands-on birthday themed crafts and tasty treats from the BBQ. 

In addition to celebrating the past five years, Greywood Arts will launch their ‘Meaningful Conversations’ summer/autumn programme, which includes events and workshops that  provide a space for meaningful and often difficult conversations to be explored through creative activities.

Party attendees will also get a sneak peek at Greywood Arts’ new Coach House arts centre, slated to open in early 2023. The Coach House, located adjacent to the existing Greywood Arts facility, will soon offer workspaces for local artists, a classroom to expand educational offerings such as afterschool art classes, and a flexible event space for exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events. This new space will enable Greywood Arts to significantly expand their creative programme and generate more opportunities for artists across East Cork and Ireland in the years to come.

Founded in July 2017 by cultural producer Jessica Bonenfant, Greywood Arts has hosted over 130 events and workshops and has welcomed more than 175 artists, 600 participants, 300 youths, and 5,600 audience members through its doors. With a strong belief that everyone has creative potential, and that rural areas deserve access to quality arts programming, the non-profit organisation continually works to bring artists and the East Cork community together.

The Coach House at Greywood Arts, slated to open in early 2023.

Notably, in 2018, Greywood Arts revived the historic May Sunday Festival—a celebration of the creativity, history, and ecology of Killeagh—which they continue to facilitate, drawing hundreds of visitors each year. Greywood arts also regularly engage with their local community through school programmes; their local youth group was established in 2021, and more recently they coordinated a collaborative exhibition between a visiting artist, local East Cork schools and the National Space Centre, which saw 600 visitors.

Greywood’s Artistic Director Jessica Bonenfant says:

“It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come in such a short time. When we’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to forget what we have already accomplished by bringing artists from all over the world to Killeagh, and by providing a much needed space where artists and members of the local community can exchange ideas,  build empathy, and discover a sense of belonging. It’s important to take stock of our impact thus far and to take the time to celebrate it with all of the people who make this work possible.” 

Event Details:

Greywood Arts 

Main St, Killeagh, Co. Cork

Saturday 9th July

4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Free entry, no booking required, drinks and snacks will be available to purchase.

With thanks to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Cork County Council for their support through the Local Live Public Performance Scheme.

Artist Spotlight: Lauren Gardner

Greywood Arts recently had the pleasure of hosting biophilia inspired interior designer Lauren Gardner (Minnesota, US) in residence for a number of weeks.

Lauren Gardner’s most inspiring experiences in her career have been when a project has had the opportunity to bring a group of people together to share the aspirations they have for their community and work together to frame those ideas into design prompts for her design team to create solutions around.

An associate with MSR Design, Lauren actively thinks about the intersectionality of the end users within any space and how they can have shared experiences that build community relationships. She wants all users to feel supported and welcomed in their environments and have barrier-free experiences in any space they use.

Alongside this work, Lauren researches sustainable products and healthy materials as part of the firm’s initiative to design spaces that benefit the overall health of the people who use them, as well as the environment.

An active member of the International Interior Design Association (IIIDA), Lauren recently joined the national IIDA office’s newly created Equity Council, focused on developing initiatives to increase the representation of identified historically underrepresented design professionals; creating anti-racist and anti-bias policies, goals, and objectives; and promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. She is also the current vice president of advocacy for the IIDA Northland Chapter.

Lauren has kindly shared the following words about her time in Greywood Arts:

“After years of non-stop work in the commercial design industry, my residency at Greywood Arts provided an experience for me to reconnect with my creative curiosities in new and liberating ways.

The experience felt genuinely empowering from day one to practice and make at my own pace (or relearn how to), always with the encouragement and support of artistic director Jessica Bonenfant and the other multidisciplinary visiting creatives.

Having the community supported, trans-disciplinary living experience at Greywood, getting to deeply familiarise myself with both flora and fauna of Glenbower Wood, as well as touring the country at large, I found I had a renewed connection with the intentions behind my craft, finding value and confidence once again in my ideas, exploring materials and rabbit-holing curiosities in unique ways I may otherwise have not identified.”

Click here for more information on our creative process residency.

May Sunday Festival Get involved!

We are so thrilled to have Killeagh’s historic May Sunday Festival back in full swing for 2022! We are currently working on programming the annual celebration which will take place in Glenbower Wood, at Greywood Arts and other sites throughout the village from April 30th – May 2nd. 

As you may know, this is a community festival which began nearly 200 years ago. Since its revival in 2018 the festival celebrates the history, ecology and creativity of the locality. In the spirit of this, we are writing to invite you to participate in this year’s festivities.

It’s time to get your imaginations going and your creativity flowing! We invite you to propose an event, walk, talk, art installation, or other interactive experience for the 2022 festival. With the success of last year’s Art Trail, your group might be feeling inspired to create a piece of artwork to place in the wood. We would love you to create something that represents your community group/ school/ class, as well as paying homage to the history of The May Sunday Festival, Killeagh/Inch, Bealtaine, or the unique and special environment of Glenbower Woods. 

Greywod Arts is planning the following: 

Friday evening – May Bush Making Workshop 

Saturday – Art + Craft Market, Nature Writing Workshop, Maija Sofia folk music event

Sunday – Open Air Dance & picnic, Walkabout Performers 

Sunday evening – music in local pubs

Monday – Litter Pick in Glenbower

Plus more TBA!

All events will be publicised in the May Sunday Festival Programme which is distributed to all village centre houses and businesses, and through Greywood’s social media channels. Bookings for events that require pre-registration must be managed by the organising group. Any fees charged for events must be nominal and in the spirit of accessibility. Contributions toward the cost of promotion and insurance are appreciated. 

Events and artworks must not damage any of the natural environment of the woodland.  The festival believes in the ethos of Leave No Trace. 

If you’d like to participate, we would love to invite you for a brainstorming session or a walk in Glenbower wood, where we can look at potential locations for your proposal. Greywood Arts is happy to provide support to groups coordinating events / artworks and will work with you to ensure you are set up for success. 

Please let us know of your intent to host an event by March 25th.

Contact us to schedule a site visit / brainstorming session! 

Event details must be confirmed by April 1st for inclusion in print materials. / 083 845 1750 

We look forward to hearing your ideas!

Construction Begins on Coach House Project

“To finally break ground after years of planning and delays is thrilling. We are a huge step closer to our dream of a thriving arts centre that will help shape the cultural landscape of East Cork, and we couldn’t have done it without the tremendous support of the community!”

Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, Founder of Greywood Arts.

The much anticipated construction has begun on the Coach House renovation project at Greywood Arts, after delays experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Niall Guerin Construction broke ground on the project in January this year, and the renovation is scheduled to be completed by January 2023.

The 158 square meter Coach House is an outbuilding constructed over 250 years ago. Originally built by the Davis family, the Coach House became an RIC barrack in the late 19th century, and was then used as a sawmill producing doors, windows, and timber cart wheels from the 1920s through to the 1950s.

Derelict for decades, it will now soon offer:

  • Workspaces for local artists
  • A classroom to expand educational offerings such as after school art classes for children
  • A flexible event space for exhibitions, workshops, and cultural events such as literary readings, film screenings, and musical performances.

We’ll keep you updated as construction progresses, meanwhile, keep an eye on our Instagram for some behind the scenes content!

Writing workshop filling fast!

We are so delighted to be working with frequent Greywood Arts resident, Elizabeth Murray, on a 4-part writing workshop that is great for beginners or anyone who is struggling with focus and needs a bit of support in a friendly environment. If you’re interested, this is the last week to register!

A kickstart writing workshop designed to help generate ideas, spark enthusiasm, and increase confidence as you translate your ideas onto the page. Through writing exercises, writing samples and prompts, and open discussion, you will start to build a body of ideas and drafts while collecting writing tools that will help further your work. This workshop focuses on getting your ideas out and words on the page, so will not require you to share your work aloud with other participants.

Click here to book:

Registration open until April 2nd .

Elizabeth Rose Murray writes for children, young adults, and adult audiences. Her books include the award-winning Nine Lives Trilogy and Caramel Hearts. Recent anthology and journal publications include The Elysian: Creative ResponsesReading the FutureAutonomyPopshots, Banshee, Terrain, Not Very Quiet, Ropes, and Tiny Essays. She lives in West Cork, Ireland. Twitter: @ERMurray Facebook: ERMurray.Author

Space Waste in the Spotlight

Announcing the partnership between Greywood Arts & the National Space Centre

Cork organisations collaborating on a project to turn space refuse into sculpture 

 Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, Artistic Director at Greywood Arts Centre, poses with a 20m scrapped satellite antenna at the National Space Centre. 

Ireland’s National Space Centre (NSC) has announced its inaugural Artist in Residence programme in conjunction with Greywood Arts, offering a sculptural artist the chance to work with space technology debris. The partnership was announced to mark Global Community Engagement Day, celebrated on 28 January. The two organisations are Cork neighbours, with the NSC located in Elfordstown just outside Midleton, and Greywood Arts in the nearby village of Killeagh.  

“Greywood Arts is centred around the idea of artists and community coming together to explore the creative process,” said Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, Greywood’s Artistic Director. “Having the National Space Centre in our area means we can offer this exceptional opportunity for an artist to utilise unusual materials to create art that investigates reuse.” 

The decommissioned 13-meter EU-5B4 dish, which transmitted billions of gigabytes of communications data to satellites orbiting Earth prior to being dismantled.  Pieces have been preserved specifically for the Greywood Arts Artist in Residence programme.  

“We’re excited to share space communications components including circuit boards, assemblies and data subframes with a sculptor, as well as preserved panels from our recently dismantled 11-metre EU-5B4 dish,” explained NSC CEO Rory Fitzpatrick. “The decommissioned dish is a great example of the kinds of space sector refuse being generated as technology accelerates. This residency is a chance to cooperatively re-purpose what we can’t recycle and see what emerges creatively from space waste.” 

The residency will see the selected artist on site at the NSC, collecting materials and investigating the other-worldly campus environment, before returning full-time to Greywood to begin a sculptural piece. It will conclude with an exhibition of the completed work at the end of the year, open to the public and planned to take place at the National Space Centre.  

A call for artists will be made in the spring and interested sculptors can sign up for Greywood’s newsletter at to be notified when submissions open.  


The National Space Centre (NSC) is Europe’s most westerly teleport and Ireland’s only commercial ground station. Opened as Elfordstown Earthstation in 1984 at a cost of IR£8M (€25M today), the facility celebrated ten years of operation as the NSC in 2020. The company provides commercial broadcast services, ground control support for satellites and space craft, academic research partnerships and space industry consulting. The NSC’s co-located Space Campus is home to more than a dozen Irish space startups and EU-headquartered space enterprises.


Set in an historic Georgian house in the centre of Killeagh Village, Greywood Arts fosters creativity from the heart of East Cork. Since its 2017 founding, Greywood has hosted over 100 artists-in-residence from all over the world. Greywood also organises community art projects, programs cultural events, and offers educational workshops.

In their words…

Members of our community share why they would like to see Greywood Arts achieve our fundraising target and convert a derelict coach house into an arts centre for East Cork.


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Clockwise: Josephine Jakobi (artist-in-residence 2019), Ryan Mihaly & Karolina Zappal (writers-in-residence 2018), the Power family, Sheila McGovern (Greywood Board of Directors), Naimh (project participant), Helen Kennedy (project participant), Lisa Cliffe (teaching artist). 

Click here to watch the videos!