On Saturday April 9th Blackbird Cultur-Lab opened its doors to the public. Children and people of all ages gathered to look at the work in progress developed by International and Irish artists Karl Logge, Sarah Lundy, Laurence O'Toole, Marta Romani and Anne Vetter.
These artists completed "Leeward", a four-week residency curated by Karla Sánchez at Cow House Studios, a progressive artist-run school and residency in County Wexford.
"Leeward" refers to the side of the mountain sheltered from the wind. During this period the artists and curator were analysing the concept of "The Rural", following both a desire to "think WITH" others as well as to delve in a self-reflective process.
The definition of the rural that kickstarted their reflections was taken from Michael Woods book "The Rural":
The rural is an imagined space, an artificial construction. It is hybrid, co-constituted, multi-faceted, relational and elusive. It is conceived of as a resource to be exploited for economic gain, a site for consumption through tourism and recreation, a place to live, and a vulnerable environment in need of protection. There is no single author of the rural: the state, the media, corporations, farmers, rural residents, academic researchers, tourists and day-visitors, pressure groups and NGOs, development agencies, investors, speculators, and a host of non-human actors- among others- are actively engaged in the production and reproduction of the rural on an everyday basis.
The demonstration of work in progress at Blackbbird Cultur-lab allowed the public to start conversations with and get a glimpse of the practise of the resident artists, whose work ranged from textiles and weaving to photography, video, sculpture and songs.
It was fantastic to see the interaction of people of all ages and walks of life with the artists and their work.