Backwater Artists Group

Backwater Artists Group, Cork

Established in 1990 by graduates from Crawford College of Art and Design, the Backwater Artists Group aims to provide secure affordable studio space painting/mixed media and sculpture, and to provide support services for Cork artists on issues that affect their professional art practices. The group's art studios are situated in the Wandesford Quay complex alongside Cork Printmakers and the Fenton Art Gallery. Backwater has a total of 27 studios, 21 of which are devoted to painters and mixed media artists, while 6 are for sculptors. Individual group members are linked to galleries throughout ireland, and over the years have shown in many group exhibitions together, in Cork, nationally and internationally. The Group has charity status.

Backwater is an artist-centred body, with an artist-led Board of Directors, and currently caters for thirty artists, ranging from the established to the emerging, and provides access to computer, framing and photography facilities, as well as a range of essential information. Each year, it offers two six-month Ciarán Langford Memorial Bursaries to graduates of the Crawford College to help them transit from student to professional artist. The group's overall aim is to foster the visual arts in Cork by establishing a centre of excellence for the production of Irish painting and Irish sculpture, with its own exchange and outreach program.

How to Become a Member of Backwater

Out of the group's 27 studio spaces, 1 sculpture studio and 3 painting/mixed media studios are available for short term project-based letting, while the remainder are for full time members. To qualify for full time membership, candidates must be full time professional artists. Studio vacancies are filled according to two conditions: the candidate must be willing to commit time to the activities of the group and use the studio space; the candidate must demonstrate a proven need for working studio space.

Arts Facilities

In addition to a heated well lit studio space, Backwater members have access to shared facilities including: a computer room with three Macs, internet and Digital imaging facilities; a library of art books, arts magazines and newsletters; woodwork facilities; a darkroom facility for black and white developing with various size enlarger trays, and a range of photographic/projection equipment. The sculpture block has a high ceiling to facilitate large size artworks. In addition, members have the chance to participate in Backwater Artists Group activities, such as touring exhibitions locally, nationally and internationally.

Art Exhibitions

Once a year the Backwater Artist Group hold join open days with Cork Print Makers. Both groups open their studios to the public and organise free artist demonstrations and talks. Long term members of the Backwater Group include Lorraine Cooke, Ciaran Cronin, Fiona Dowling, Megan Eustace, Lisa Fingleton, Ita Freeney, Mags Geaney, Olivia Hassett, Maire O' Mahony, Tanya de Paor, Annette Persson, Ben Reilly, Christopher Samuels and Wesley Triggs. The workshop also runs printmaking courses for adults and facilitates education programs for schools and special events.

For further details about the activities and opportunities available with this group, contact:

Backwater Artists Group
Wandesford Quay
Phone: 021-4961002
Fax: 021-4961220

See also: Cork Art News

• For more about artist organizations in Ireland, see: Homepage.
• For biographical histories of the top painters and sculptors, see: Famous Irish Artists.
• For the historical development of painting and sculpture, see: History of Irish Art.
• For a personal view of the top 20 or so contemporary painters, see: Best Irish Artists.
• For a selected list of modern creative practitioners, see: Contemporary Irish Artists.

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