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Images courtesy of the artists
Jessica Auer, Áine McBride, Anthony Haughey, Itamar Gov

The curatorial panel comprising Catherine Hemelryk (CCA, Derry-Londonderry), Jeremy Fitz Howard (Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny), Martha McCulloch (Artlink Fort Dunree)  Esther Alleyne (Roe Valley Arts Centre), and Adriana Valderrama Lopez (School of Arts & Humanities, Ulster University) have selected a new cohort of International and Irish artists who will be visiting the Artlink studios during 2021, to each undertake a four week residency at Fort Dunree. The four artists were selected from almost 600 applications, submitted by artists from across the world.  

Adriana Valderrama Lopez commented “I was very surprised by the quantity and quality of the projects, a great variety of proposals supported by different methodologies and artistic expressions that in one way, or another, responded to the particularities of the space that surrounds and locates the gallery.”

Jessica Auer
image by Kox
Jessica Auer is a photographer, filmmaker and educator who lives in Iceland, where she runs a photographic research centre called Ströndin Studio. As part of her artistic practice, she is currently researching the historic links between remote places in the North Atlantic, focusing upon the intersection between anthropology and archeology.  Needless to say, the opportunity to spend time at Fort Dunree on the Inishowen Peninsula holds a special appeal to her.  In her residency project Auer is looking to explore the landscape around Dunree, focusing upon the connections between history, place and cultural experience. She will share her reflections on her time at Fort Dunree through a series of photographic artworks. By examining historical sites, tourist destinations and small communities, her work aims to reflect on how our landscape shapes us, and how we in turn shape the landscape.
Itamar Gov
image by Matan Radin
Israeli artist Itamar Gov focuses upon examining histories, memories and truths through his art - teasing out the tensions between the known and the supposed.  Itamar explains, “Central to my work is the representation of different forms of personal, collective and institutional memory”. Visiting a place like Fort Dunree, rich in history yet sited in a community that is still evolving its ‘borderlands’ story, this residency offers him the opportunity to explore the multiple histories of Fort Dunree and its surroundings, and interrogate “How and what exactly can spaces “remember” from the humans that acted in them? … how do traces of their former lives manifest themselves, if at all, in present times?”  Itamar proposes to create a site specific work at Fort Dunree which he believes will help his audience to “think, rethink and shape our world” through art.
Anthony Haughey filming near Srebrenica October 2014 
image by Brian Creggan
Anthony Haughey is an artist and a lecturer in TU Dublin, where he co-founded the Centre for Socially Engaged Practice-Based Research. As an artist, he has worked with individuals and communities for more than twenty years, on projects as diverse as socially engaged art, experimental filmmaking, photography, installation and public art interventions.  His artworks are represented in many important national and international public and private collections.
Anthony’s residency proposal for Fort Dunree is to research and engage with communities in Inishowen to produce a collaborative, performative event to mark the centenary of signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty on the 6 of December 2021. He is interested in re-shaping acts of commemoration to enable participants and audiences to connect with complex historical events on an intellectual and emotional level.   Artlink are sure their members will be intrigued to take part in this unique artwork, being staged at such an historically significant site during the Centenary year.
Áine McBride
photo by Samuel Laurence Cunnane
Áine McBride is an emerging artist from Letterkenny in Donegal.  She is now based in Dublin, but is keen to return to her home county to further develop her sculptural practice during her residency at Fort Dunree.  Áine works with sculpture and photographic elements, often using construction and utility materials to create installations, but this time she is hoping to develop ceramic and glass works using the kiln at Artlink’s studio.  She anticipates being inspired by the remnants of the military base at the fort, and will take photographs of the decaying military huts as a starting point to inspire her characteristic abstracted sculptural forms. 
Once at Fort Dunree, these artists will focus on developing new works inspired by the rich history and inspirational vistas over land and sea that are unique to the beautiful, remote site.  As part of their residency programme each artist will also be engaging with the local artistic community in a variety of ways - via workshops, talks and demonstrations.
Rebecca Strain from the Artlink Creative Team says “This year we saw an incredible range of ideas and inventive ways of engaging the public from applicants across 61 countries. With over 570 submissions for just four residencies, the selection process was highly competitive. We are delighted to support the selected artists and welcome them to our base here at Fort Dunree when it is safe to do so.  Witnessing and engaging with artists at work has been unfeasible in the past year.  Art making - including writing, music, theatre, and visual art -  is humanity's way of making sense of the world, and there is a palpable hunger for face to face creative engagement in our wider community. We are looking forward to announcing our programme in more detail shortly, and will be letting everybody know when each artist is arriving and how the community can benefit from the residencies.” 
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