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Major New Artistic Residency Announced

Monday 27 September 2004

Major New Artistic Residency Announced
The Rathcoola Residency, Cork, Ireland

A significant new Artistic Residency open to New Zealand and Australian writers and visual artists has been announced today by The Richard and Sophie Nicoll Trust. The Rathcoola Residency based in Cork, Ireland offers two inaugural Residencies for consecutive six-month periods, commencing July 2005 and January 2006. Applications are now being called for and close at the end of November 2004. An official public announcement of the successful recipients will be made in January 2005. Full details including application forms are available online at the Rathcoola website (www.rathcoola.info).

The Rathcoola Residency has been established by expatriate New Zealander, Robyn Carrig, chair of the London-based Trust and owner of Rathcoola - a large Georgian country house set in substantial grounds located in Donoughmore, near Cork. The Residency offers apartment accommodation and studio space on-site, use of a car, a stipend equivalent of $A20,000 and return economy airfare to Ireland.

Ms Carrig says the Residency will be advertised annually and is aimed at assisting writers and visual artists with an existing record of achievement in their artform the opportunity to further develop and concentrate their talents for an uninterrupted period of time in relaxing surrounds.

"We are keen to give New Zealand writers and artists the opportunity to go overseas and really focus on their art without them having to worry so much about the finance to achieve that. It is not easily affordable for many artists and writers to pursue this independently, and our hope is that the Residency will go towards nourishing the artistic lives of individuals, their art and also have impact on their wider communities," she says. "In initiating the Residency I felt the time was right to give something back to my country by fostering its artistic talent and cultural heart. Based in the countryside we hope it's a place where fantastic creative ideas can flourish."

The announcement has been applauded by members of the New Zealand artistic community as a real opportunity for developing the individuals and their work.

Chris Else, National President of the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN) Inc enthuses that the generosity of the Residency is enormously welcome to writers.

"The opportunity for New Zealand writers to live and work in Rathcoola will be invaluable both for the individuals chosen and for our literature as a whole," he says. "It is important because as only one of three overseas residencies available to New Zealand writers - the other two are the Berlin Fellowship and the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship - it is the only one in an English speaking country. It is especially significant, too, that it is in Ireland - a country with such a strong literary history."

Artists Alliance Executive Director Maggie Gresson sees The Rathcoola Residency as great opportunity for visual artists. She says: "Learning from travels and knowledge gained as a result of such experiences goes towards gaining a stronger sense of who we are when we return home. It is all good news for our artistic and cultural health, and that of our artists."

Mary Galway from the Tourism Ireland Representative Office in New Zealand, says the first Residency comes at an exciting time as Cork is the European Capital of Culture in 2005.

"We welcome The Rathcoola Residency in Cork as it further strengthens the link between Ireland and New Zealand which share strong similarities. We congratulate the Trust on its generosity in assisting New Zealand writers and artists," she said.

Further details on The Rathcoola Residency including eligibility criteria, terms and conditions and application information can be found at www.rathcoola.info

ENDS


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