One year later…

23 artists
20+ events
A huge community art project and the return of the May Sunday festival

We’ve been busy.

Although, it is quality, not quantity, that matters to us.

As we head into year two we are looking back at how our programmes have shaped up. I think it’s only natural to be proud of our successes. We’re already seeing the return of artists for a second residency. We’re making long-term connections with East Cork artists. We’ve begun to build connections with local groups like the Monday Club, History Group, Scouts, Kyle National School, and Foroige.

When we set out, the artist’s residency was the sure thing – the familiar. I’ve been on residencies, I’ve worked in the arts my whole career. I understand the value of time and space to work, undistracted and in an inspiring atmosphere. The challenge was foreseeing the myriad needs of artists across disciplines, making a large old house feel cosy, getting the word out.

Anniversary Fete Poster

What came as a surprise was the depth of engagement we achieved with the local community in year one. It was the unknown for us – how would Killeagh respond? Would they understand what we’re doing here? Would there be a desire to get involved? The answer has been a resounding yes, so much so that community programming is on par with the residency in the hierarchy of our priorities.

We’re eager to keep growing as we find ways to better support the artists who stay with us, and the locals who want to learn about, see, and create art. As we move into year two, we are reflecting on our values, reviewing our business plan, and dreaming big for the future. I’ll write more about that soon.

Meanwhile, we’d like to invite everyone to help us celebrate our first year with an Anniversary Fête on Sunday July 1st from 2pm – 6pm. (free)

2-6:  Art Exhibition featuring photographer and former artist-in-residence Aissa Lopez & Killeagh-based painter Sinéad Ní Chionaola.

Aissa Lopez will exhibit Paper Ghosts, A phenomenology of place, which uses Kodak Brownie box cameras to create direct positive, paper negatives and finished contact prints on fibre paper.

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A Youghal native, Aissa was in residence at Greywood last August, working on a related photography project exploring domestic spaces and the uncanny. Perhaps you saw her work during the open studio?


Sinéad Ní Chionaola is a contemporary Irish landscape artist who uses her experiences of Glenbower Woods and the surrounding ancient lands of her hometown in East Cork to communicate a love of place. She works in series of paintings, and the painting process transforms into its own story – using drips, texture and form. You may be familiar with two of her large paintings hanging in our library, generously on loan to Greywood Arts for the past year.

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2-4:  Mural Painting & Ice Cream Social for Families  

We will paint a mural on the garden wall at Greywood, using the Ogham alphabet to write Greywood Arts’ basic prinicpal: CREATE with these ancient Celtic symbols. In case of rain, we will work on a large roll of paper inside. Either way, be ready to get messy!

A special thanks to Martha Doyle for helping us plan out the Ogham alaphbet.

4-6:  Short fiction & essay reading by E.R. Murray followed by music & drinks in the library.
Bio_ERMurray_HighRes (1)E. R. Murray writes novels for children and young adults and short fiction and essays for adults. Her novels include the award-winning Nine Lives Trilogy (The Book of LearningThe Book of Shadowsand The Book of Revenge) and Caramel Hearts. Elizabeth will be reading for an adult audience from a selection of recently published essays and short stories. She will also talk about her writing process and publishing journey and answer questions about what it’s like to be a writer. An interactive event suitable for anyone who loves stories.

For more information: 083 845 1750 or

There are so many people who have helped us get to – and through – year one. From our fabulous intern Sam, to myriad volunteers, we should write an entire post about our gratitude.




On Crafting a Novel – Workshop for Writers

Greywood Arts is delighted to host a workshop by January’s writer-in-residence, Margareth Stewart:


Five simple techniques to make it a hit!

23 January, 2018
Tuesday at 7pm

To reserve a place email or ring Jessica at 083.845.1750.


Margareth Stewart is the pen name for Mônica Mastrantonio. Ms. Mastrantonio will share insights into the process of writing her novel, OPEN – Pierre’s Journey after War. She will also detail five techniques to make your novel a hit:

  • daily routine
  • original plot
  • strong characters
  • the element of surprise
  • the voices.

MargarethStewartMônica Mastrantonio holds a PhD in Social Psychology and teaches Social Projects through Literature and Local Stories. She is the editor and publisher of three anthologies: “Whitmanthology”: on Loss and Grief (2016), “Womanthology”: writings on women worldwide (2016), and “The pain that unites us all” (2017). “The 7 sinkers: a view from below” is her book of short stories and “Open” is her debut novel. Her next novel is “Mademoiselle-sur-Seine”/on plaisir & bonne vie. This Zen-mother of three loves life, her tattoos, and dancing. She lives part of her time in South America, Europe and Miami.

OPEN – Pierre’s Journey after War is the story of a man whose young family is killed during aerial bombings of France in WWII. Pierre survives in near despondency, eventually embarking on the vagabond life as his outlet for grief and for time to ponder revenge. Despite suffering continuous reflections of his tragic past, Pierre journeys across continents bestowing kindness to other troubled souls.



Sometimes a day away is all you need…

Quiet. Fresh perspective. Giving yourself permission to put aside the quotidien and mundane for a brief period of focus. IMG_9290-T

Many residency programs have a one week minimum, and some even prefer you visit for a full month. But we believe every project is different, and each artist’s circumstances are unique. Work and family commitments, limited budgets, or scheduling a diverse group of collaborators can make extended work periods less viable. So when we have the availability, we don’t mind if you come for just a few nights.  You know what your process requires!


While the movement and visual art studios will be closed for winter this year until we sort out better heating, we have the library (pictured below, with piano) available as workspace for musicians from January onward. The writer’s den (pictured above) is currently available from the 18-29 March, and then again from 8 April onwards.


Applications for summer 2018 are starting to roll in, so if you’re thinking about applying do get in touch! Application information can be found on our Programs page.

DAWG Crazy

On Saturday we are delighted to be hosting a Christmas Market in aid of one of our favourite charities: Cork Dog Action Welfare Group, aka Cork DAWG. The people behind the scenes, all volunteers, work tremendously hard to rescue and re-home so many dogs. The dogs, it goes with out saying, are pretty fabulous, too!

DAWG Chrismtas Fair WEB

We’ll also be happy to collect any donations of tinned food for the shelter dogs on the day.

So this is Miya.

She was our first foster dog in 2016. Or rather, a “foster fail”, as she is still here with us, and we are her forever home.  She’s a dalmatian, likely crossed with a pointer or setter of some kind. Dalmatians used to run alongside carriages to protect them – she is fast!

To be honest, we knew there was a chance we would keep her as soon as we applied to foster – she looked so much like Elvis – our rescue from Monaghan Pound. The black patches over their eyes, the spots! But we weren’t sure how having two dogs would be…

Pets Miya Elvis

It turns out two was just the right number. Elvis, a Llewellyn (English) Setter, is full of energy and stays outside all day. It’s great for him to have a companion in the fields – and on the sofa!

Pets Elvis sofa

In 2017, once the dust from renovations had settled, we decided to foster with DAWG again:

  • Tucker, an 8 yr old Staffie
  • Rogue, the gentlest old shepard, was with us two months.
  • Casey, a young staffie
  • Otto, a darling ‘ol collie
  • Velma & Lulu, sister American Bulldogs
  • And Roy, a gunshy German Shorthaired Pointer.

Oh, Roy. I named him after Roy Orbison (or maybe Roy Rogers?)  He fell off the sofa four times the first week. He has loads of spots. There’s not a bit of badness in him. And now, Roy is number three – he’ll be staying on an joining the madness here at Greywood. ❤

Fostering is a fantastic experience. Yes, it can require time, and patience. Yes, there are times when the dogs made me want to tear my hair out. But the looks on their faces when you are kind to them, when you give them love, it’s just too precious. Fosterers receive great support from the rescue, who takes care of all the medical expenses. You can do it as often as you like, and there is no pressure when you’re not available, or if the dog isn’t the right fit for your situation. People often say they’ll get too attached if they foster – as you see it can happen. But really, you know when it’s right. It felt right to keep Roy. Far more often, you meet a family that is the perfect match, and you can see how both the dog and humans will be so happy together. It just feels right! Even if it is hard to say goodbye.

If I’ve convinced you, you can apply to foster with DAWG here.

Or maybe you want to see the cute faces available to adopt?

Can’t have a dog? You can sponsor one who needs special care.

If you’re in East Cork, come along Saturday night. It will be a lovely, relaxing time to sip mulled wine, listen to some live music, and start your holiday shopping!

Winter Writing Residency Competition Winners!

Greywood Arts Writers ResidencyGreywood Arts is delighted to announce the winners of the Winter Writing Residency Competition!

It was a tremendously difficult decision to select only one work from each category – short stories, poems, and plays. It was truly a pleasure to read work by a diverse and talented pool of writers. We look forward to making the writing competition a regular opportunity to win a week-long residency.

We offer a hearty congratulations and warm welcome to:

Gráinne Daly for her poems To Lady and to Tramp, Tomb Raiders, & Slievemore Cemetary

Orla McAlinden for her short story A Sliver of the Moon

Mark W. Sasse for his play The Last Bastion

Each writer will be in residence at Greywood Arts for one week in March or April. The prize includes accommodation and workspace overlooking the Dissour River. At the end of the week, each author is invited to read their work to the community. We can’t wait to see what they do!

You can learn more about them here:

IMG_0112Gráinne Daly is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin and most recently University College Dublin where she graduated with a first class MA in Creative Writing. She was recently shortlisted for the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Prize, Maeve Binchy UCD Travel Award 2017 and Robert Monteith Poetry Prize. Her work came third place in the Anthony Cronin International Poetry Prize and was recently published in Southword Magazine and Pocket Change Journal. A recipient of the South Dublin County Council Artist’s Bursary 2016, Gráinne is currently working on her debut novel and a collection of poetry. Her work is due to appear in an Anthology entitled ‘Letters to my Ex’, and ‘Bridges Between’, which is a collection of new International writing by recent UCD graduates.

She intends to use her time at Greywoods Arts to edit her novel, a crime thriller that sees boundaries crossed between white collar crime and a cartel feud in Dublin. She will also progress her growing poetry collection. Gráinne likes to work on both projects simultaneously, as she finds the poetry is a refuge that helps her restore balance to everything else.


Orla McAlinden is a Pushcart Prize nominee, the Cecil Day Lewis emerging writer 2016, and winner of the BGEIBA Irish Short Story of the Year award. Her debut collection The Accidental Wife won the 2014 Eludia Award from Sowilo Press in Philadelphia, and was published in July 2016.

During March 2017, The Accidental Wife was the chosen text for the inaugural Armagh Big Read hosted by Libraries NI. The Accidental Wife was also chosen as the BBC Radio Ulster Nolan Show bookclub choice July 2017.

Other publications include, The Fish Anthology, The Chattahoochee Review, A New Ulster, The Ilanot Review and others. Orla is working on a forthcoming Famine novel The Flight of the Wren set in Kildare, and a second Northern Irish story collection, Full of Grace.

Orla is delighted to be attending the Greywood Arts retreat and will spend the week polishing the stories in Full of Grace, as well as beginning research for a new novel to be set in contemporary Dublin.
The Accidental Wife at

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Mark W. Sasse: I’m thrilled to be coming to Greywood Arts for the Winter Writing Residency. I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but I’ve been mainly living overseas for the past 20+ years. I taught English in Vietnam, history & drama in Malaysia, and I’m currently teaching theatre arts in Saudi Arabia. Oh yes, I also write! I’m a playwright and novelist. My plays have been performed in New York, Australia, & Malaysia. I’ve published five novels and am set to release book one of my brand new trilogy. It’s currently being considered for a Kindle Press contract. You can read an exclusive excerpt HERE!

For my residency at Greywood Arts, I have three play-writing projects I’m eager to work on. First, I want to finish an historical play I started recently related to the Nat Turner slave uprising in 1831. Second, I have a new show to write tentatively entitled “Love is…” which will be performed by my new drama troupe, The Sun & Sand Players, in January 2019. Lastly, I have a mostly written play about the cultural clash between religion and gay marriage which has been sitting on the back burner for a number of years. It’s time to get it finished. Knowing me, I’ll probably have some more ideas before I make it to Ireland. Can’t wait. I’m grateful to Greywood Arts for the opportunity.  – Mark W Sasse







Creative Killeagh to Launch Oct 31st!


We have some seriously exciting news to share with you: Greywood Arts initiated a project called Creative Killeagh, and we’ve received the necessary funding to make it happen!

Creative Killeagh is a series of arts workshops, performances, and events for the Killeagh-Inch community leading up to May Sunday 2018.

The program includes:

  • Two Artist-in-the-Community Residencies here at Greywood Arts.
  • A large-scale community project developed in collaboration with local groups. The community project draws on the history of Killeagh’s May Sunday Festival and the village’s stunning Glenbower Wood.
  • May Sunday festivities on 6th May, 2018.

Creative Killeagh is the only East Cork recipient of the competitive Cork County Council Creative Communities grant!

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With Cork County Mayor Cllr Declan Hurley at the awards ceremony.

Their generous support of €13,000 will bring at least five different artists to Killeagh to work with people in the village, and will help fund the May Sunday event. The project has also received €1,000 from Creative Ireland for the first artist residency. Initiated by Greywood Arts, the project will be shaped in partnership with community groups including the Killeagh-Inch Community Council, Inch Fóroige, and local volunteers.

Creative Killeagh launches on Halloween at 8PM and all are welcome to the celebration. There will be traditional Halloween games and treats, a performance, and the Creative Killeagh programme will be announcsed. Head to the brand new website, for more information.

Creative Killeagh kicks off next week with W O O D S H O P, the brainchild of Irish artist Léann Herlihy. W O O D S H O P is a collaborative art project that explores craft and social values. Motivated by the materials, skills, and practices of Killeagh’s former sawmills, Léann will lead craftsmanship workshops, give an artist talk, and create a performance.

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You can find details here on

The remainder of 2017 will yield a period of research by the Collaborative Community Arts Project team: Lisa Cahill (movement/education), Carol Anne Connolly (visual arts/community projects), and Kara Sweeney (photography/film). The new year will bring more workshops, events, and artist-in-residence Sara French. The project culminates on May Sunday (6th May), historically an important festival date for Killeagh. Traditionally, May Sunday was the only day villagers were invited up into the then private Glenbower Wood. The festival continued until 2001 and is much missed by many locals.


We believe you have to make the kind of community you want to live in, and we want Killeagh to be invigorated with creativity. It’s important that we listen to our neighbours, discover what people desire here, and what they are missing – like the May Sunday festivities.


Best. Culture Night. Ever.

We had a blast last night hosting the Bureau of Surrealist Enquiries. A mix of families and adults came to learn about the Surrealist movement, make collages, play the collaborative exquisite corpse drawing and poem writing games, and to try blackout poetry. Once we got started there was no stopping us!


We began by taking ourselves to 1920s Paris, and talking about how WWI turned everyone’s lives upside down. Since we process our world and our emotions through art, artists were ready to find new ways of thinking. Some of the things the surrealists valued were juxtaposing everyday objects in unexpected ways (the element of SURPRISE), mining their DREAMS for writing and drawing – not worrying about the logical, letting the IMAGINATION guide us, and letting the subconscious take the lead (FIRST THOUGHT, BEST THOUGHT). All the while, music by Surrealist era composers played in the background.


We worked non-stop for over an hour!


And then we unveiled our Collages & Exquisite Corpses:

Stopping for a Surreal Snack (the pop-rocks were unexpected!):

We read some wacky poetry:

And finished up with some group photos:

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Upcoming, and just gone…

We’re wading into the thick of September and the nights have begun to close in earlier. Where has the summer gone? It feels like it flew by, but looking back, it was quite full.

Read on for a re-cap of all the excitement August brought as well as upcoming events and residency opportunities. And check back Friday, as we have some exciting news to share. 

August kicked off with a concert and BBQ with the inimitable Clare Byrne and Brooklyn, NY band Ink the Octopus. You can read all about their gig here, which overlapped with photographer Aissa Lopez‘s residency.


photo credit:

We next hosted performer and theatre maker Noelle O’Regan – you may have spotted her leading the Cork Ghost Tour – as she developed nascent material. Noelle visited Killeagh’s Sheela-na-gig, an ancient carving linked to fertility that is said to ward off evil sprits, for inspiration.

On the 26th of August, we celebrated Heritage Week with a concert by Cork Baroque Players: Eimear Ready, Marja Gaynor, and Caitriona O’Mahony . The trio of cello and violins played beautifully, with snippets of information and anecdotes interspersed between the songs. A lovely way to spend a Saturday evening!

We also had the wonderfully wacky Lords of Strut here, fresh off a stint on Britain’s got Talent. Famous Seamus and Seantastic were rehearsing their hilarious new family show, Absolute Legends, in preparation for Dublin Fringe. We were so lucky to get invited to an open rehearsal, and even better – we got to extend that invitation to a few local Killeagh families that have been so supportive of Greywood Arts from the start.

Our next big event is a family drawing, collage and poetry workshop for families on Culture Night, Friday September 22nd. Let us know if you are planning on joining us for this fun evening!  CULTURE NIGHT POSTER

We are also quite excited to announce our new Winter Writing Residency Award, a competition to win a one-week residency between January and April 2018. Writers of short stories, plays and poetry are invited to submit unpublished works. An author from each category will be awarded cosy self-catering accommodation and private work space overlooking the Dissour River. At the end of each residency Greywood Arts will host an intimate reading in our library where writers can share their work. Deadline October 15th! Greywood Arts Writers Residency

Last, but not least, we are pleased to announce the start of East Cork Art Share – a monthly opportunity for makers of visual, performing, written, and musical arts to engage with each other. Come to Greywood Arts, enjoy a cuppa, and talk about your practice, your process and even the challenges you are facing. Share the projects you’re working on, gain feedback, network, and converse with fellow local artists.

ECAS Cover Photo

The Art Share is an informal meet-up where participants can shape the content to serve the needs of our community. We invite and encourage speakers, demonstrations, as well as hands on skill sharing. Help strengthen the already vibrant community of creatives spread throughout the eastern part of the county.

The first meeting will be Thursday October 5th from 7-9pm. All welcome.
Next meetings: November 9th and December 7th.

Artist-in-Residence: Aissa Lopez

Earlier this month we had the pleasure of hosting photographer Aissa Lopez. Aissa is originally from the neighbouring town of Youghal, but has recently been living in Sweden working on a masters. Her studies will take her to Iceland next and I am very jealous!

One of my favourite things about having Aissa in residence was getting to hear her family stories and childhood memories, as well as snippets of Youghal history. The settings in her stories are vivid and tactile-wallpaper, old hardwood floors, the shop where she helped her grandmother. It makes perfect sense that her work would be rooted in the domestic sphere, and informed by the details of its architecture.

If you use Instagram, you should really follow Aissa’s page. Scroll down a bit for shots from her residency. I’m in love with this one of our oddly shaped window as you head up to the studio:

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From Aissa:

In my current work, I have been using the house or home to explore nostalgia, memory, the uncanny and folklore. As a result I was delighted to be awarded the artist residency at Greywood Arts . It was built in 1767 and Jessica and Hughie have done much research on its history. Knowing this I expected to be inspired by the general character of such an historic building, what I was not expecting was to be utterly charmed by it.

As an artist who borders on obsessed with the domestic space and old buildings, I was struck by what individual character Greywood Arts has, due to it being preserved and added to by the current occupants. Nothing is standard, windows, doors and floors all vary. A dream for me, as I am an interested in these often-overlooked details in the background of our everyday lives.

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Photograph of model based on space at Greywood Arts

I took hundreds of digital photographs, and some analogue, having become captivated by the light let in by the many different sized windows. An essential part of my process is photographing and drawing what I am interested in, from which I build in miniature, with paper, my interpretation of these details, spaces and/or rooms. This usually takes quite some time, but in the supportive, undisturbed atmosphere of Greywood Arts I have already constructed enough to begin photographing the recreations. I plan to make more work based on the amazing Greywood Arts’ building. I feel very lucky to have had the time here, the atmosphere Jessica and Hughie have created meant I was able to work and reflect on my practice. I leave very inspired.

We were so grateful to have Aissa share her unique process with everyone who came to the Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus show. It is really important to us that our local community understands what goes on here. We are all about process, with no pressure on artists to create a finished product. But with the special connection to the house, we’re hoping Aissa will share the fruits of her labour with us in the future!

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Photos from Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus

We had such a great night with Clare Byrne & Ink the Octopus last week!

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It was really special to have Clare back with us after her residency in February. As a development space, we’ll often see work in progress, but it was wonderful to present the material fully developed just a few months later. Clare’s performance was not without a bit of movement thrown in, too!

Dan & Remy from Ink the Octopus were such a pleasure to host – though we expected nothing less from friends of Clare. They’re incredibly talented musicians, and they even got the crowd involved in a sing-song!

We had great attendance (35+ people) and good food. Hughie was stationed at the BBQ, which had to be moved inside due to weather. Despite a bit of smoke, it ended up making for a cosy evening.  We were delighted to welcome so many new faces.

Aissa Lopez had her work on display in the studio upstairs. We were so grateful to have her give some insight into her process during her residency! Stay tuned for a blog about Aissa later this week.

Thanks so much to everyone for coming! Let us know if you enjoyed what you saw – and what you’d like to see more of in the future.