The ISACS Network is pleased to present the selected artists for the 2024 edition of the ISACS and Áras Éanna Ionad Ealaíne Artists Residency.

This is our fifth residency since 2019, and we are enthusiastic to continue offering this excellent opportunity for artists to live and create for one month on the Island of Inis Oírr, Co. Galway.

The selected artists are  Gill Byrne and Sadbh Grehan. Here is what Gill says about their aims for this programme:

Sadbh and I have worked together on many projects. Through these collaborations we have discovered a common interest of storytelling from the landscape, and exploring this through circus and movement. Both our solo work is heavily informed by these concepts; and we have long-held a desire to create a duo piece that combines our specialist skills in wild spaces.Through exploration, play and time in the landscape, this residency would allow our duo to expand and deepen this interest. We intend to research creative processes and integration of our skills into the local environment of Inis Oirr.

This research will be guided by Aoife Carry of Twisted Lane Productions, who specialises in this topic, and we have both separately worked with on the theme of circus in landscape. Her esteemed mentorship will be invaluable in this endeavour. We intend to explore the environment through a mix of contemporary physical theatre, prop-based skills, and movement.

We are deeply inspired by engaging with natural features in our artistic practice.We are curious about how the local landscape and weather have shaped the culture on Inis Oirr; particularly the island working cultures of seafaring, dry stone walling, and textiles. We hope to learn about these through engaging with the community; and using this local knowledge as a lens through which to explore work which is site specific and responsive to Inis Oirr. We would welcome the opportunity to share a showing of work at the end of the residency.

This residency would nourish and elevate our shared art practice by providing opportunity to pursue creating work together in this unique environment.


About the Artists

Two female artists portrayed in black and white in outdoor settings

Gill and Sadbh are contemporary circus artists. Gill specialises in hula hoops, dance trapeze and performance rigging. Sadbh specializes in hand balancing, chair balancing and dragon staff. They both perform their skills in prop-manipulation, aerial, and fire dance at events and festivals all over Ireland, and have worked together extensively through Erebidae Circus, BrokenTheatre, and Collective Moves. Their work together has involved the fusion of different disciplines, storytelling, and working outside.

Gill and Sadbh are inspired by the power of wild places; and desire to express the feelings these places stir up. Their duo work in Vezprém for Collective Moves, was centred around the story of the Betyár Hungarian tree pirates. In this site-specific show, they used physical theatre and circus influenced by the landscape to convey this folk tale. It was here, hanging from a tree, that they realized the potential potency of combining their skills to form a new duo.