The ISACS Network is delighted to present the second edition of the JumpStart Residency.  This is one of four flagship artform residency programmes which ISACS have been involved in developing: Jumpstart, LIFT, Áras Éanna and NEST.

This multi-annual, artist development platform is presented in partnership with Earagail Arts Festival, Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, and Fidget Feet Irish Aerial Dance Festival, and is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland.

This nationwide residency offers an artistic and sectoral mentoring programme for emerging aerial dance and circus artists via an open call.

We are delighted to announce that the Jumpstart Artist for 2023 and 2024 is Ashton.

Along with a bursary of €500 per week, plus accommodation, space, documentation, and support, Ashton will also receive the following:

Year 1: Residencies and mentoring

The artist will be resident in the North West of Ireland throughout Summer 2023, being mentored by experienced aerial artists and producers as follows:

  • 1 week Residency in Sligo, during Cairde Sligo Arts Festival, 2-8 July
  • 1 week Residency in Donegal, during Earagail Arts Festival, 9-15 July
  • 1 week Residency in Letterkenny, during Irish Aerial Dance Festival, 16-22 July.

Year 2: The partnering Festivals will provide the selected artist a platform to showcase the work in progress during Summer 2024.

About Ashton

Ashton Headshot

Ashton is a multidisciplinary queer and neurodivergent artist, working in movement, theatre and circus.  Serial beginner in a wide range of skills, and unashamed Jack of many things, Ashton’s creative practice has taken them in all manner of unexpected directions.

They accidentally fell in love with trapeze whilst trying to navigate a very serious career as an actor. Twelve countries and several questionable costume choices later, they now work across multiple art-forms, creating pieces which explore authentic communication and connection, and working to combine text with physical expression.

What Ashton is looking forward to

Last year I rediscovered my love of vertical dance; I went to training courses around Europe, and spent time working on my own unique practice. I now need support to continue developing my work, with an aim to creating my own multidisciplinary work, and long-term, to form a vertical dance company.

I’m interested in natural environments e.g. trees, cliffs, and liminal spaces e.g. quarries which are man-made but reflect the natural materials they’re made of.

With Jumpstart, I plan to create a site-specific piece, responding to the natural environment and the contradiction of using technical climbing equipment to access and dance on a site of natural beauty. Potentially, I’d also develop a skeleton show/system of practice which can be adapted to a variety of locations, enabling me to produce work in multiple site-specific locations in the future. I want to explore incorporating text/speech and use of projections to aid storytelling, and develop work which is visually spectacular, as well as rooted in narrative.