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Call for submissions


For Cork Midsummer Festival 2022, and responding to the context of Covid-19, quarantine and successive lockdowns, CONNECTION reflects on this unprecedented and paradoxical experience of shared isolation and confinement to think more broadly about the concepts of community, care and connection and the encounter with the artwork.
We invite artists from or based in Cork to take these ideas as a starting point for response and encourage unexpected interpretations. These could include: Projects that conceive of CONNECTION as a formal
device. Conceptual responses to the title or the ideas it generates (whether these be – for example – largescale social issues; intimate, personal interpretations of the idea of connection; or ideas that connect to popculture, politics, digital landscapes etc). Performance, visual practice (including paintings, drawing, lens-based work, sculpture, installation), sound art, film and video, durational works, site-specific works, workshops and/or social praxis. Pluck Projects are actively seeking venues in the city in which to exhibit/locate the work of
successful applicants during the Festival.

Pluck Projects are Visual Arts Curators in Residence at Cork Midsummer Festival. One of Ireland’s largest multidisciplinary arts festivals, CMF uses Cork as its backdrop and inspiration with events happening in venues, spaces and unexpected places across the city.
It provides a unique platform for national artists at all stages of their careers, presenting bold and innovative work that engages audiences of all ages. While rooted locally, including an annual programme of socially engaged and participatory events, the outlook is global with inspiring international artists and the exploration of burning topics both essential to Midsummer. The programme is developed in collaboration with many of the city’s arts organisations and institutions.

Formed in 2014 by Sarah Kelleher and Rachel Warriner, Pluck Projects work closely with artists to realise ambitious exhibitions of innovative and avant-garde work. To date, Pluck have produced exhibitions including Alice Maher’s Vox Materia at the Source Arts Centre in Thurles and the Crawford Gallery of Art in 2018, Gaol Break by Angela Fulcher in Cork’s City Hall in 2017, New Work from Glasgow at the Windle Building, UCC as part of the Cork International Film Festival’s Visual Arts Programme in 2015, and curated a strand of The Land of Zero at the Crawford Art Gallery, Cork 2015.

For each project, Pluck seeks to promote the work of outstanding artists through creative curation and critical engagement. Utilising the specific context of Cork Midsummer Festival, we are particularly interested in proposals that demonstrate a capacity to engage with broad and diverse audiences, and that offer unique perspectives relevant to Cork. Successful applicants will receive an artist’s fee of €500 and a budget of up to €400 for production costs. There is no application fee. Projects will be assessed according to the merit of proposals and their relationship to the theme. We encourage applications from artists at all stages of their careers.

Email your proposal as a single PDF file (max 10mb) to with CONNECTION Exhibition Proposal in the subject line of the email.

Please make sure your proposal includes the following:
CV: Max 2 pages. Containing name, address, email and website (if available)
Artist Statement: Max 200 words.
Proposal Summary: Please provide a summary (max 500 words) of the project you are proposing, how it relates to the theme of CONNECTION, and a description of the final work.
Supporting Material: Max 10 items which could include.
• Examples of work including details of material, dimensions, year
of production.
• Links to video and audio (please do not include audio or video files
in submission).
• Letters of agreement, for example from a group you plan to work
with or a particular venue for site-specific work. There is no need
to include letters of support with this application unless they are
directly related to the proposed project.

Cork Midsummer Festival and Pluck Projects are committed to equality
and to facilitating access for all artists regardless of circumstances. If you have any questions about the application, or details of funding and support, please contact Sarah Kelleher and Rachel Warriner at Deadline is midnight, 20 December, 2021.


Fall/out @ Cork Midsummer Festival 2021

We’re delighted to launch the programme for FALL /OUT at Cork Midsummer Festival 2021. This year, we are working with six artists who are responding to our theme through interrogating ideas of work, climate change, our relationship to technology, fantasy and nature, and interrelationships.

The festival runs in Cork City between 14-27 June. For more information on locations, times and tickets see

Jessica Akerman: Cork Caryatids

Jessica Akerman, Centre of Gravity, 2020 (Jo Hounsome Photography). 

Cork Caryatids celebrates the history and strength, physical and symbolic, of female labour in Cork. This series of banners makes reference to the Shawlies, Cork’s famous street traders, but also points to larger stories of changing labour practices and the ways in which these changes to the ways in which we work impact the urban landscape. Akerman’s imagery draws on the history of caryatids, carved female figures which were used as pillars in Classical architecture. Caryatids were mythological women subjected to the hard labour of holding up a heavy temple, but were also associated with celebratory rituals where the women would wear baskets of fruit on their heads. The graphic design of the banners uses the layout of Excel sheets, each cell filled with vivid colour, to engage with contemporary office based work practice and the new architectural landscape in Cork that accommodates
this digital labour.

Pádraig Spillane: Define Silver Lining

Pádraig Spillane, Define Silver Lining (detail), 2021.

This window-based installation, occupying the old Argos premises on the Grand Parade, will jostle between shop windows occupied and not-occupied. Incorporating abstract imagery derived from consumer packing and using the structures of commercial display, Define Silver
Lining invites us to think about the ways in we are affected by the technologies that support our lives. The title, Define Silver Lining, prompts us to consider the acceleration of technologies of communication and commerce both before COVID-19 and those being
amplified due to the pandemic. Define Silver Lining is accompanied by a soundscape by VEINS (Karen O’Doherty, Marc Rensing, Pádraig Spillane). The viewer is invited to follow a QR code that leads to a website ( which holds a sound clip comprising a melody line within noises made from the workings of electronic devices, electricity, the sounds of connectivity, the hums and statics of interfaces we increasingly connect with in our daily activities.

Anne Ffrench: To Hold Still

Anne Ffrench, To Hold Still (detail), 2021.

To Hold Still is a sculptural installation made from briars which spills through the doll’s house space of the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion. The work draws on the idea of suspended time in fairytales, where brambles surround and protect a castle’s sleeping inhabitants. During the first lockdown Anne Ffrench spent a lot of time in young woodland overgrown with gorse and briar, two impenetrable barriers. Briars, she reminds us, have a vital protective function, saplings need the time of the briar to establish and grow strong before the briars recede and trees take their place. During the first lockdown we heard reports of nature reclaiming space as humans stood still. To Hold Still wonders what if ‘lockdown’ could mean the briars were free to grow and encircle us until the threat had passed, much like the castle in Sleeping Beauty. Accessible to a family audience on the imaginative level of the fairytale, To Hold Still is a visually striking meditation on time, threat and care, and further, a prompt for us to be still and allow nature to grow wild around us.

David Mathúna and Andrew McSweeney: As Above, So Below

David Mathúna and Andrew McSweeney, As Above, So Below, 2021.

‘As Above, So Below’ is an interconnected audiovisual system comprised of two individual real-time scenes – clouds above, water below – each unfolding digital panorama influencing the behaviour of the other. In hermeticism the phrase “as above, so below” indicates that earthly matters reflect the operation of the astral plane, or in a more secular context it refers to the idea that the microcosm reflects the macrocosm. In its establishment and examination of minute relationships of cause and effect, the system takes causality and chaos theory as formal devices, building its structure around action and consequence.

Conceived of in Berlin by Cork-born artists Andrew McSweeney and David Mathúna, ‘As Above, So Below’ brings together different aesthetic and technical aspects of each artist’s practice and is a continually evolving project, changing its form in response to the nature of physical space and the influence of new creative technologies.

Vicki Davis: Meatàn

Vicki Davis, Meatàn, 2021.

Sited in the Port of Cork, Meatàn is an immersive living sculpture that references the live deportation of cattle from Cork and draws on processes proposed by industry to counter the environmental impact of cattle farming. This work developed from research into one of the Argentinean government’s solutions to the climate emergency: a balloon that collects methane gas emitted from cows. It is an invasive process, involving the insertion of a pipe into the intestinal tract of a cow, creating a hybrid between animal and machine that speaks to the agricultural industry’s relationship to global warming. The ‘living’ sculpture takes the form of a balloon made from specially screen printed cattle feedbags, which will inflate and deflate slowly over the course of the festival. Meatàn prompts us to examine the ways in which climate change impacts our imaginations.

Vox Materia: performance by Vicky Langan

Thursday 15 November, 2018. Crawford Art Gallery.

Vicky Langan will present 3 performances in response to Alice Maher’s Vox Materia, in the library of the Crawford Art Gallery. Interacting physically with Vox Materia’s bronze elements and drawing on the ideas raised by the show, Langan will layer physical gesture with scraps of sound to create an intensely personal response to Maher’s work.

Artist’ Bio

Vicky Langan (b. 1986) is a Cork-based artist whose practice operates across several often overlapping fields, chiefly performance, sound, and film. Langan both embraces and projects vulnerability, offering an intimate territory loaded with personal symbolism and unguarded emotion. With a focus on the sounds of the body and its functions, involving contact-­miked skin, amplified breath and live electronic manipulation, Langan’s work sits between sound and performance art. Using simple raw materials such as domestic objects, hair and magnetic tape, she layers physical gestures and scraps of sound to create intensely personal imaginary landscapes. Mundane domesticity is explored as a temporal space where the material body and sensual inner worlds mesh. In opening herself emotionally, she creates warm yet discomforting rituals that at once embrace the viewer and remain resolutely private, exploring the limits of what can be shared between people and what must remain mysterious.

Free event. Book your place at