Update Friday, 23rd of July 2021
Bringing it all back home - The Engagement Project 2014– 2021
Congratulations to KCAT for an amazing exhibition
Bringing it all back home marks a kind of holding pen in the history of a rich and lively collaboration between KCAT studio artists and artist friends and collaborators from far beyond Callan in the Engagement Project. What was meant to run for three-years, beginning tentatively in 2014, gathered momentum to the point where it couldn’t be restrained. That, and the interruptions of the pandemic, means that we are only now presenting the final exhibition, but it is already clear that the relationships fostered by the process will go on far beyond this moment. Many of those relationships built on or led to lasting friendships and collaborative practices between the visitors and the studio, others resulted in contacts with curators, e.g leading to Andrew Pike’s exhibition at Damer House and to a significant expansion of practice for all of the partners involved. It helped to secure places in public collections such as those of the Arts Council, the Crawford Gallery in Cork , Trinity College, Dublin and the National Self-Portrait collection at the University of Limerick for artists such as Declan Byrne, Mary Cody, Sinead Fahy and Andrew Pike (who also picked up an honorary fellowship from GMIT along the way), residencies in Belfast, Sligo and West Cork as well as Callan itself, and that is only the beginning of a process that will continue into the future.
But most of all the Engagement Project from its early beginnings with Mary Cody and Paul Mosse at Visual, Carlow, through exhibitions in Kilkenny and Clonmel, and a touring exhibition (Uilinn in West Cork, Farmleigh in Dublin, the F.E. McWilliam Gallery, Banbridge and Ballina, Ballycastle and Castlebar in County Mayo) is the story of widening creative horizons and deep friendships. And that trajectory can never be reversed.
Now it is time to wind up the Engagement Project with Bringing it all back home, the final leg of the tour begun in Summer 2019 and sadly interrupted by the Covid 19 pandemic. The artists have carried on despite the difficulties of lockdowns and this exhibition will bring the project up to date, incorporating earlier work from the tour and proudly showing the new work that has been made in the meantime. But if the Engagement Project ends here, the friendships and creative partnerships it fostered will carry on. They could not do otherwise.
The artists, curator and everyone at KCAT would like to honour Gypsy Ray, one of the project’s most committed participants, who sadly died in March of 2020, but who continued to work with Thomas Barron on this project until two weeks before her death.
Catherine Marshall, Curator; The Engagement Project, 2014 – 2021.
Update Thursday, 29 October 2020
SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS MADE IN ADDRESSING DEFICIENCIES IDENTIFIED BY HIQA ACCORDING TO CAMPHILL
Significant progress has been made in addressing deficiencies identified by HIQA during the summer in a number of Camphill Communities of Ireland (CCoI) centres. CCoI’s CEO, Ann Sheehan, said that the centres concerned are all working through individual compliance plans to address the issues raised – with many of the issues identified having already been resolved.
Ms Sheehan explained that community members with support needs and their families have been briefed over recent weeks on the issues raised by HIQA in the reports issued today (see links below) and the measures being taken to tackle them.
“In broad terms, the issues of non-compliance highlighted by HIQA are around staffing, governance/administration and protection. These are important matters and are being attended to as a matter of urgency.
“Thankfully, HIQA have found – by and large – that are community members are happy with the service and we know from our recent meetings that the families are too.”
Ann Sheehan explained that many of the issues highlighted by HIQA relate to Camphill’s ongoing journey on two fronts – firstly, moving from what was largely a volunteer-led model of service to one that is led and run by people with specialised professional skills and secondly, transitioning from a highly devolved structure in terms of management and operations to a more centralised model.
“In Camphill, we have been working to do this while also maintaining the strong community ethos which has been central to our way of working and which community members and their families have placed such a strong value on. So, in a nutshell, we in Camphill have been on – and are still on – a journey moving from one way of working to another and the issues identified by HIQA capture some of the issues that we have been and are addressing as part of this transition,” Ms Sheehan concluded.