Sorcha McNamara travelled to Riga, Latvia to undertake the Black Holes residency as part of the Creative Europe project Artist-Run Network Europe this month. The residency took place at Totaldobže Art Centre, where seven international artists explored collaboration and sharing through play, board games, colour-hunting, silent awareness walks, and dancing around bonfires as a daily art practice in the Latvian wilderness. They have also been challenging their habitual individual practice, while exploring collective art making process, which demands certain compromises, and finding new ways to manifest ideas. Sorcha was selected via an open call through our free Membership Scheme for artists.
Participants: Aina Bikše (LV), Kristjan Thorlacius Finsson (IS), Stuart Mayes (UK/SE), Sorcha McNamara (IE), Felipe Andres Naranjo Urenda (CL/DE), Matthias Roth (DE), Lidija Zaneripa (LV).
Moderators: Kaspars Lielgalvis (LV), Laura Prikule (LV).
Workshop holders: John Fail (US), John Grzinich (US), Andreas Ribbung (SE).
Produced by: Totaldobže Art Centre.
The Black Hole residency is a part of the Creative Europe Small Cooperations Project, Artist-Run Network Europe (ARNE). The Black Hole residency is co-funded by the Latvian Ministry of Culture. Sorcha’s participation was further supported through the Arts Council of Ireland’s Agility Award 2022. Ormston House’s participation in ARNE is co-funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and Limerick City & County Council.
About Sorcha McNamara
Sorcha McNamara is a visual artist living and working in Mayo, Ireland. She holds a BA in Fine Art – Painting from Limerick School of Art and Design (2019) and is currently completing her MA in Art + Research Collaboration at IADT Dun Laoghaire. Her experience of artist-run spaces includes time spent working at 126 Gallery, Galway and as a member of MisCreating Sculpture, an artist collective based in Limerick. As an artist, her interest lies in resourcefulness and improvisation, making paintings out of found materials, and focusing her attention on the discarded detritus of the everyday. Sorcha’s work has been exhibited both in Ireland and internationally, in London, Lisbon and Tokyo. Recent solo exhibitions include (dis)attachments at The Hyde Bridge Gallery, Sligo and Readymade #2 at Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin. She is the recipient of a Mayo Artist Bursary Award (2022) and an Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award (2021, 2022) and has previously been selected for residencies at Joya AiR, Almeria (2022), Tangent Projects, Barcelona (2021) and PADA Studios, Lisbon (2020). Collections include The Office of Public Works (OPW) and The Hunt Museum, Limerick.
Totaldobže Art Centre is a platform for contemporary art creation established in 2008 in Latvia. Totaldobže invites people from various fields to collaborate, connect and communicate human values through art. Residencies, workshops, lectures and discussions are organised in an unused cinema and various rooms in the former Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Transport and Aeronautics at Riga Technical University, as well as in other locations around the city provided by the organisation Free Riga. Totaldobže organises the Black Holes workshops – process-driven collaborations that facilitate artists from various disciplines with a focused residency period within which they engage in an intensive creative exchange supported by a moderator. Black Holes is about experimenting, taking risks, and allowing for failure.
About Artist-Run Network Europe
Artist-Run Network Europe (ARNE) is a European project with focus on artist-run initiatives co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. Over the course of two and a half years (October 2020–April 2023), the project will host a range of activities, including exhibitions, conferences, workshops and lectures. ARNE aims to strengthen the self-organised artist-run sector in Europe with focus on local and international cooperation, and to create a simple information framework for art professionals and art students, namely through a collaborative online platform, Artist-Run Resource Centre (ARRC).