Tralee, 30 June 2017: Karen Hendy has been announced as Siamsa Tíre’s Visual Artist in Residence, following an open call. The residency, which will run from 26th June to 26th August 2017 allows an artist time and space to create new work. The work Karen will undertake while on Residency will go towards a solo exhibition in 2019. This artwork will reflect a creative response to working closely with the National Folk Theatre of Ireland, particularly the members of the performing company. Karen will also be able to interact with the public during this residency, as she will have full use of two of the gallery spaces within Siamsa Tíre as working studios.

Karen Hendy comments: “The residency at Siamsa Tíre is a great opportunity for me as a visual artist to explore new avenues of enquiry. It stimulates dialogue between various art-forms and allows cross-over from one medium to another. Irish folk-life traditions and rural culture have always influenced my work, and this residency at Siamsa Tire will allow me to develop this connection further.’

Catriona Fallon, CEO Siamsa Tíre comments, “We are delighted to have a visual artist working in the building and engaging closely with the National Folk Theatre. Siamsa Tíre has hosted residencies in the past, including our work with Susan Leen in September of 2016, but this is the longest residency to date. We received a large number of proposals, but we are confident that in choosing Karen, we will have a very interesting and creative few months ahead of us! Siamsa Tíre is conscious of the challenges facing full-time practicing artists and we hope that this residency, and others to come, will be of benefit to artists and the communities they live in.”

Karen is a fulltime artist and a native of Kenmare, now living near Portmagee. Karen works in the medium of painting, installation and mixed media. She draws on her experience of living within a rural community to narrate themes of change and impermanence in relation to the human condition and the geology of the landscape. Having experienced the burning of the land, ploughing, tilling and sewing as part of the yearly ritual of renewal, she deliberately introduces these physical processes into her work. Her abstract work combines unconventional materials with unorthodox processes: layers are exposed through mechanical grinding, silage foil is transformed by burning with torches and shovels are used to spread gesso. Karen is a recipient of the Tyrone Guthrie Bursary from Kerry County Council and Cork County Councils in 2016 and 2017.