Open Call announced for the Linenhall's Bolay Residency 2023

Open Call for the Linenhall's Bolay Residency 2023

Announcing the 2023 Bolay Visual Arts Residency with the Linenhall Arts Centre

(Pictured: Dominic Thorpe (2022 Bolay recipient) and Bryan Gerard Duffy (2020 Bolay recipient) at the launch of Thorpe's exhibition 'Aftermath: Perpetrator Trauma and the Irish Civil War', an exhibition of drawing, video and installation work developed through the Linenhall's Bolay Artists Residency in 2022. Photo: Alison Laredo. 

The Linenhall Arts Centre in Castlebar, County Mayo, will support a visual artist with a residency programme for the fourth year in a row.

The Bolay Residency 2023 will take place over eight weeks, from Monday 30th October to Friday 22 December 2023 and includes use of a purpose built studio in the Linenhall, accommodation at Lough Lannagh Village, tailored mentorship, a purpose-built digital suite, an artist fee of €8,000, a materials budget and an exhibition opportunity at the Linenhall in 2024. The residency includes 2 weeks offsite intended for preparation and research and 6 weeks onsite in the Linenhall’s Artist’s Studio. 

The uniqueness of the residency is that it is focused on artists who feel disconnected from their practice, whether for a myriad of reasons - health; financial; family; caring responsibilities; or a creative block. When you get back to making work, you may know where you want to go but the terrain feels different. Whatever your reason, the goal of the residency is to provide the artist with an opportunity to expand and reconnect to their practice, in a supportive and creative environment. By dedicating eight weeks of their time in the West of Ireland to create new work or further develop an existing project, the Linenhall Arts Centre will offer facilities and resources for productive experimentation, dialogue, and collaboration. Artists travelling with children or dependents are welcome to apply. 

The inaugural Bolay Residency was presented by the Linenhall in 2020, during a period of lockdown. It was since named in honour of visual artist Veronica Bolay who sat on the Linenhall's Board of Trustees for a period spanning 13 years. In its first year, Mayo artist Bryan Gerard Duffy was selected from ten of Mayo’s most prominent visual artists, by the Linenhall’s Visual Arts Committee. Duffy developed three site-specific artworks for public areas of the arts centre that will remain at the Linenhall indefinitely. 

The residency took on a new focus in 2021 in order for an artist to benefit from a supportive environment and dedicated studio time at a pivotal stage of their career. Donegal artist Maria McKinney won the prestigious residency in 2021 and performance artist, Dominic Thorpe was the recipient in 2022.  'The Bolay residency has had a really positive impact on my practice, allowing invaluable space and time to reflect and develop new trajectories within my work', says Thorpe. 

The successful artist will be selected by a panel of industry professionals. The Bolay Residency is kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland and supported by Lough Lannagh Village, Castlebar .‘It’s always our great privilege to be in a position to support artists in this substantial and sustainable way,’ says Linenhall Director, Bernadette Greenan. ‘We continue to be grateful for the ongoing support from our funders like the Arts Council, Mayo Arts Office and the councillors of Castlebar Municipal District which allows us to continue support artists and provide high-quality arts experiences for the local community.’ 

Submissions open on Friday 19 May at 00.01am with a deadline of Friday 23 June at 5pm. Submissions are accepted via Due to the substantial nature of the residency, the administration of the application and selection process will be managed by the team at Visual Artists Ireland. 

Bernadette can be contacted at or or 094 90 23733 with any queries.

Dominic Thorpe at the launch of his exhibition 'Aftermath: Perpetrator Trauma and the Irish Civil War', an exhibition of drawing, video and installation work developed through the Bolay Artists Residency in 2022. Photo: Alison Laredo. 

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