Interview with Frontiers in Retreat artist, Carl Giffney

Irish Sculptor Carl Giffney helped to set up The Good Hatchery in 2007 after graduating from IADT. The Good Hatchery is an artist-led space, founded by five graduates straight out of college which has been operating in Ireland for seven years. It is based in a former industrial school in  rural north Offaly. The 19th century building was  sourced through the internet – from Free-cycle.

The Good Hatchery focuses on supporting the development of ambitious art practices that have to do with their own relationships to place or are context specific in some form. In 2015, the Good Hatchery is  still directed by two of its five founders, Carl Giffney and Ruth E Lyons. It has  sixteen board members, studio artists and it also runs residencies, events and curated projects.  It  completed a major renovations programme last year and held an event to celebrate this spring.

Originally five art school graduates put up a wanted ad for a building in Dublin, but they found one in the middle of nowhere which was quite amazing.

The five graduates renovated the place, wired it, plumbed it, put the windows in, using materials they got for free. It was the time of the Celtic tiger in Ireland, everyone was churning up their houses and putting in new fancier things, and getting rid of their stuff, so it was very easy to get things. After some curated projects and collaborations we attracted a little bit of funding for things like windows and insurance.

it is  largely unfunded, although it has had funding from the Irish Arts Council and the Arts Office a couple of years ago.

SSW NEWS

Artist Carl Giffney joined us for a two week research residency from 2 – 16 June 2014, and is the second artist to attend SSW as part of the five year EU project Frontiers in Retreat.  Three artists are working with SSW over 2014/15 – Fernando Dory Garcia completed his research residency in May and returns to us in September, and Brett Bloom joins us in July.

Where are you joining us from?

The last project I did was in America, with a great artist called Andreas Kindler von Knobloch. It was a three month residency in a place called Paul Artspace, in St.Louis. The work involved excavating a huge 268kg quartz crystal, which is piezo-electric. We then transported it in a ’98 Ford Ranger to sites of crystal meth labs, or former crystal meth labs, and also to bars and supermarkets. We used the quartz to generate electricity and manufactured…

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