Artists showcase their work on Cork island

THE public are being offered an opportunity to view a series of original and innovative contemporary artworks in one of the most scenic locations in the country – on Sherkin Island.

The BA (hons) in Visual Art is a community-based, four-year, honours degree, visual art programme based on Sherkin Island. It is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin School of Art and Design, Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, and is part-funded by the Department of Rural and Community Development and Cork County Council.

The current 4th year students completing the BA Visual Art degree will showcase their exhibition ‘Beyond The Frame’ on Sherkin Island on May 18 and 19, followed by an exhibition for Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre opening on May 25.

Engaging with Sherkin Island as both inspiration and installation space, this unique exhibition takes the form of an island-wide art-trail and offers visitors a fascinating insight into both the work of the graduating students and the island itself.

Sherkin Island Picture: Greg Roznawski
Sherkin Island Picture: Greg Roznawski

Ferries will run throughout the weekend from Baltimore. A special price deal will be in place for visitors to ‘Beyond The Frame’ for the weekend.

Following the exhibition on Sherkin Island, BA Visual Art graduating students will show their work at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, Skibbereen, from May 21 to June 15 in an exhibition curated by Director Ann Davoren.

This is the ninth group to graduate from the degree programme. This year’s seven graduating students will join the ranks of 99 alumni of this prestigious and highly successful programme. Graduates have gone on to Masters and PhD level programmes, including the locally-based MA Art and Environment (TU Dublin); have secured work through teaching, lecturing and arts facilitation; and developed careers as successful artists in West Cork and elsewhere.


Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) are delighted to announce that the BA Visual Art Degree Programme is accepting applications for a new intake to the four-year degree on Sherkin Island for the academic year 2024/2025. This full-time, modular, honours degree offers a dynamic and creative programme in contemporary visual art and is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the TU Dublin School of Art and Design.

The programme, which began in 2000 and was accredited in 2007, adds huge benefits to the social and economic fabric of Sherkin Island and the West Cork region in general.

Aisling Moran, Development Officer for Sherkin, Heir and Long Islands, said; “It’s great to be able to look to the future and a new group of students commencing in September. This is a strong and unique partnership programme that brings local, regional and national agencies together.” The island will welcome a group of new students to begin their journey on this unique third level degree programme in September. And, just as one cohort begins, another exits with its exhibition.

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Here is some information on the seven artists set to exhibit their work, ‘Beyound The Frame’, on the island on May 18 and 19.

Sorcha Browning, film production still, Eden, 2024.
Sorcha Browning, film production still, Eden, 2024.

Sorcha Browning 

Originally from Ballydehob, Covid brought Sorcha back from her travels. At a time of such change and self-discovery, she enrolled in BAVA Sherkin Island to align once more with her love of art. She is now rediscovering West Cork as an adult and seeing how it really is one of the best places in the world to be.

Her final project is based on the constant online engagement that gets us hooked and forces us to remain, and the elements at play within this online world that is so addictive. Her Alice character is all of us who struggle with visibility and invisibility of the online world.


Macha is a multi-disciplinary artist from Cork. As a neurodivergent queer single mother, art has always been a voice for the voiceless, with her keen interests in ecology and colonialism and the indigeneity of Ireland.

She felt called to do the course after years of seeking something, to merge her background of dance, circus and music and passion for the wellbeing of her surroundings.

Her final project, called ‘The Trial of the Cornered Keen’, is a practice which carries the intention of radical and eco-feminism.

Sarah Wainwright, Interwoven, 2024, Contemporary Textile Installation
Sarah Wainwright, Interwoven, 2024, Contemporary Textile Installation

Sarah Wainwright 

Sarah is a former care worker with three children. After completing level 5 and 6 in the West Cork Campus, she applied to BAVA and now classes herself as an emerging artist.

Her final project is ‘Interwoven’ and will be showcased at the Abbey on Sherkin. It looks at how the history of weaving and woven crafts connect to island life and community.

Her work also explores the concept of weaving as a spiritual practice which speaks to the Abbey as a sacred place where the spiritual connects with the physical world.

Natalie Allen 

Natalie is 35 years in Ireland and is an art therapist with the HSE, working full time as an art therapist in the community. She is a ceramic artist with a deep love of the islands.

The course has stretched her further than she ever thought possible, and her final project ‘Cast’ is a watery experience of the world of aquatic sounds.

Natalie gives water and voice and feel with her sound sculpture casts of the ocean with plaster, glass and sound. ‘Feel’ the sound of the ocean and all it holds.

Hammond, 'Sheela me', 2023, performance.
Hammond, ‘Sheela me’, 2023, performance.

Hammond Journeaux 

Hammond is originally from New Zealand but living in Ballydehob since 1996. She enrolled as it was her mother’s dying wish that she pursue her first love of art. She loves the collaborative elements of the course and the honesty of her tutors.

As a cancer survivor, her final project looks at what it means to be female and the sovereignty of body, especially when undergoing cancer treatment. Her focus is on the Sheela na Gig, goddess of life and the female form and stance.

Daniel Flynn working in Maria Hernandez' Art Studio in Kenmare
Daniel Flynn working in Maria Hernandez’ Art Studio in Kenmare

Daniel Flynn 

Daniel is based in Kenmare where he has an arts studio with his partner. He is the father of a young child and BAVA allows him the flexibility to pursue his Visual Arts degree.

His final year project is based on the Kerry baby story and the memory of oblivion and suppressed rememberings. It also addresses suicide and death. His show will consist of 10 paintings that will be shown in the community hall on the island.

Paula Quirke 

Paula was living in Dublin, working at the national rehab centre for victims of torture. She has always been drawn to nature and the islands and the structure of the course allowed her to work and complete the degree. She has bought a house on the island and now lives their full time. Her final project, ‘A search for new land’, is walking artwork, searching for connectivity and resilience.

The project will feature an art book and work in nature on Sherkin’s headland.

It’s great to be able to look to the future and a new group of students commencing in September.

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