In 2008, Christine Keogh and Rick Faulkner of Chrysalis Arts were invited by the Arts Service of Kilkenny County Council to lead a training programme for Arts Officers based on their experience of different approaches to artists’ mentoring. Chrysalis was subsequently commissioned by Kilkenny County Council to develop a Training for Real project based at the Woodstock estate in Kilkenny. Following an introductory day and site visit attended by Chrysalis and 32 artists, artists were invited to apply for commissions to create temporary installations in the grounds of Woodstock in response to three themes identified in the brief: the rich botanical heritage of Woodstock, memory and animation and a contemporary response to the architectural and landscape features of the gardens. The artists went through a detailed application, interviewing and commissioning process and the six selected artists were Gillian Campden, Philip Cullen, Caroline Schofield, Deirdre Southey and Niamh White. Other artists volunteered to work on the project including Catherine Green who made a valuable contribution.
Following selection, there was ongoing contact with the artists to develop their proposals culminating in Chrysalis undertaking a one month residency at Woodstock where the artists were supported to create and install the temporary artworks, Workshops involving local schools and community groups took place to create site decorations and the project culminated in a celebratory weekend event.
Training for Real
The concept of Training for Real was developed over a series of projects which offered the artists who were selected the opportunity of undertaking a paid commission whilst being supported by members of Chrysalis and other mentors through each stage of the creative process, from inception to installation and presentation. This programme was developed collaboratively by Rick Faulkner, Christine Keogh and Kate Maddison and predominantly focused on temporary installations in public spaces.