Supported by the Arts Council and Wicklow County Council


Bassam Issa Al-Sabah
Micro Residency
27–30 May 2024
Cow House Studios, County Wexford

As part of Kunstverein Aughrim’s collaboration with Bassam Issa Al-Sabah we are running a Micro Residency for three days at Cow House Studios. This short residency is a time for participating artists to rest and recuperate, enjoying lush surroundings, exceptional hospitality, and making use of studio resources. The group will undertake a scent-making workshop with Kaethe Burt O’Dea, in an attempt to create a perfume that captures or connotes the essence of the worlds created within Al-Sabah’s digital realms.

Participating artists include Bassam Issa Al-Sabah, Ben Malcolmson, Caoimhín Gaffney, Heeyun Hwa, Lana May Fleming, Luke van Gelderen, Shane Malone-Murphy, and Sibyl Montague.

Al-Sabah’s commissioned exhibition you are in heaven but suddenly everything begins to burn is on view at Kunstverein Aughrim from June–September 2024.

On Saturday 29 June Kunstverein Aughrim will host a public Summer Preview with Bassam Issa Al-Sabah as part of Aughrim’s local Craic in the Granite Music & Arts Festival 2024.

About the artists:

Bassam Issa Al-Sabah works across digital animation, painting, sculpture and textiles creating visions of resistance, transformation and queer possibility. Recent exhibitions include: Uncensored Lilac, in collaboration with Jennifer Mehigan at Silent Green, Transmediale, Berlin (2024), IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE TAKE THIS!, The Douglas Hyde Gallery of Contemporary Art, Dublin (2022), I AM ERROR, Gasworks, London (2021), and De La Warr Pavilion, Sussex (2022); Dissolving Beyond The Worm Moon, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2019); and Illusions of Love Dyed by Sunset, The LAB Gallery, Dublin (2018). Recent group exhibitions include Queer Embodiment and Social Fabric at the Irish Museum of Modern Art (2021-2022), The Dock, Carrick-on-Shannon (2021) and Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast (2020). Recent screenings include the Barbican, London (2022), Transmediale, Berlin (2021), EX-IS, South Korea (2021) and Jeu de Paume, Paris (2021). Al-Sabah's work is part of collections at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Arts Council of Ireland and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. In 2021 he received the Golden Fleece Award and he is currently a studio member at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

Ben Malcolmson is a visual artist based between Belfast and Dublin, working within the parameters of photography, video and sculpture exploring alternative photographic processes with relation to one’s land and identity. Previous exhibitions include Lands In-between, QSS, Belfast (2022) and Murmur, Belfast Exposed, Northern Ireland (2020). Ben works with Photo Museum Ireland on their Shared Histories - Diverse Views Artist Commission (2024), and is a current studio artist at Flax Artist Studios in the Emerging Artist Programme (2020-2024).

Caoimhín Gaffney is an artist, filmmaker and writer, whose work has been shown in exhibitions and film festivals internationally. Solo exhibitions include the Crawford Art Gallery, Block 336 in London, Contemporary Art Institute (CAI02) in Sapporo, and an upcoming exhibition of new work at the Butler Gallery in 2024. Their films have screened at FACT, Cork Film Festival, Korean Queer Film Festival, the European Media Arts Festival and the London Short Film Festival. Their work is featured in the collections of the Arts Council, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and the Crawford Art Gallery. Gaffney's research has been published in the peer-reviewed Short Film Studies journal, and they have presented research papers at the Irish Screen Studies Seminar and two Outing the Past conferences on LGBTQ+ history. Their writing has been shortlisted for the RTÉ Short Story competition and a monograph, Unseen By My Open Eyes, was published by Black Dog London featuring four film scripts and their corresponding translations in Irish, Persian, Korean and Mandarin.

Heeyun Hwa studied ceramics (B.F.A.) and recently completed an M.F.A. in Public Arts and New Artistic Strategies at Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. She crafts works with tangible materials derived from conceptual ideas. Her sculpture, research, and installation intertwine with her narratives in a larger context of propaganda, ideology, and social structure. She is especially interested in monuments and symbolic objects (gestures), which portend a spatial discourse for understanding real events. After moving to Germany from South Korea, her work increasingly focused on public interventions and installation, considering monuments and their effects on the public. Her practice explores peace and sociopolitical landscapes, including how political ‘materials’ can be delivered outside of a political context.

Lana May Fleming is a visual artist based in Dublin, working across video and performance. Her practice explores the modification of food imagery and the female body highlighting the pressure women face to physically and digitally alter their bodies for social media, comparing it to the historical sexualisation of food in commercial imagery. Fleming is a co-founder of the collective crux.project. She was the recipient of the Fingal Residency Award with Mart Gallery and Studios and the IADT and Pallas Projects/Studios Mentorship Award (2020), Arts Council Agility Award recipient (2021), awardee in ‘you breathe differently down here’, Draíocht (2022) and a Fingal County Council Artist Support Scheme recipient (2023). Solo exhibitions: Watering Hole, DIVA, Dublin (2022) and meat clown, aerial, Bergen, Norway (2022). Recent Group: MILF (Mother I’d Like to Eat)prøverommet and the Bergen centre for electronic arts), LOCKJAW, Ranelagh Arts, Dublin (2023), FAKE BODY, Platform Arts, Belfast (2023).

Luke van Gelderen is a visual artist based in Dublin. His interdisciplinary practice examines the performance and mediation of contemporary identities through technology. Converging celebrity culture, alienation, masculinity and violence, he creates immersive installations grounded in his own experience of recurring intrusive thoughts and images amplified by the internet. Recent exhibitions have included: ‘this is perfect, perfect, perfect’, Kunstraum Kreuzberg, Transmediale, Berlin, 2024; ‘Maslow's Hammer—Periodical Review 13', Pallas Projects/Studios, Dubin (2023) ‘LOCKJAW’, Ranelagh Arts Centre, Angelica Network, Dublin, 2023; ‘FAKE BODY’, Platform Arts, Belfast 2023; ‘you breathe differently down here’, Draíocht Gallery 2022; ‘Rendering New Realities - Access and Alterity’, The Douglas Hyde Gallery, 2021; ‘unrecognisable (spillway)’, a solo show at Ormond Art Studios, 2020; ‘My Activity’, a solo show at Rua Red, Dublin, 2019; ‘Chatroullete’, a solo show at K4 Galleri, Oslo Art Weekend, 2019. He was awarded and Arts Council of Ireland Visual Arts Bursary (2022, 2023); Zeitgeist Irland 24, Culture Ireland & Embassy of Ireland in Germany Funding (2023), Three Year Studio, TBG+S (2024-26) Project Studio, TBG+S (2023) Recent Graduate Residency, TBG+S (2022); Studio Residency, SÍM, Reykjavík (2022); Studio Residency, BEK, Bergen (2022); DLRCOCO Emerging Artist Bursary (2022,2024); Arts Council of Ireland Agility Award (2021); Ormond Art Studios Graduate Award (2020).

Shane Malone-Murphy is a Wicklow based artist who graduated with a first class honours degree in Sculpture and Combined Media from the Limerick School of Art and Design. Since graduating from LSAD in 2023, Malone-Murphy was part of the team that installed the 40th edition of EVA International and completed a professional certificate in Sustainable Exhibition Making from Creative Futures Academy/NCAD as well as the Clancy Quay/Superprojects Professional Development Programme. He is also currently a participant in the 2024 Critical Correspondence Course with the Royal Hibernian Academy as well as a member of the 2024 Douglas Hyde Gallery Student Forum. Malone-Murphy has exhibited consistently since graduating with pieces shown at numerous group exhibitions in Clancy Quay Studios Dublin, Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise, and Signal Arts Bray, and the Luan Gallery Athlone. 

Sibyl Montague works through sculpture, installation, video, drawing, sound and performance. Her practice explores counter narratives that deconstruct iconography and language, making work that reflects on inter-species relationships and human connections to land and resources. Montague's practice has at its heart an expression of fite fuaite - the concept of interconnectedness, belonging and the association between personhood, craft and materiality. Recent exhibitions include Claí na Péiste/Worm's Ditch, Temple Bar Gallery and Studios (TBG+S), Dublin (solo 2022); Hammerheads, Solstice Arts Centre, Navan (2023); Fashion Show: Clothing Art and Activism, Glucksman Gallery, Cork (2022); The Narrow Gate of Here and Now – Social Fabric, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, (2021-22); 4Ever Chemical screening with AEMI, Project Arts Centre, Dublin (solo 2021); The Law is a White Dog, Curated by Sarah Browne, TULCA, Galway Arts Centre (2020); SELF SOOTHERS, VISUAL, Carlow (solo 2020); Saplings, Pallas Projects, Dublin (solo 2018).

About the residency location:

Cow House Studios is a progressive artist-run school and residency set in the farmland of county Wexford, Ireland. A productive farm to this day, the 180 acres of land provide an authentic and inspirational backdrop while facilitating multidisciplinary practices for artists in residence and students, focusing on cross-cultural learning and creative exchange. Cow House Studios’ aim is to support contemporary visual arts practice and to foster a deep curiosity for one’s surroundings and encourage further engagement with the creative process as a catalyst for independent thought. To this end, Cow House Studios provide art education for children, teens and adults; facilities for colleges, schools and artist-led groups; and an artist-in-residence programme for professional artists.

Kunstverein Aughrim’s ongoing collaboration with Bassam Issa Al-Sabah is made possible with the support of The Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon.