The Mothership Project Satellite Residency Opportunity 2018

unnamedIn Autumn of 2018 The Mothership Project in collaboration with Cow House Studios will present ‘Satellite’, a residency programme designed specifically for parenting artists in Ireland. As part of this work The Mothership Project will conduct research into the experience of parenting artists in Ireland that will be used to produce a publication that highlights the needs of parenting artists in Ireland. To help us advocate for parenting artist in Ireland please fill out our survey here

Satellite is funded by The Arts Council and Wexford County Council Arts Office, and is supported by Visual, Carlow and Wexford Arts Centre.

Residency details:

Dates 15th October 2018 – 24th November 2018

  • A minimum of 10 artists will be selected.

  • Maximum 2 weeks to a minimum of 2 days stay.

  • Deadline for applications: 29th of April at 12 midnight.
    Applications submitted after this time will not be accepted.

  • Applications are only accepted via email to

  • ‘Satellite’ applications will be reviewed and selected by an independent panel.

  • Notifications to all applicants will be made via email. (See details below)

  • Successful applicants will be contacted within 2 months of the deadline.


About The Mothership:

The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists in Ireland. The Mothership Project aim to support parenting artists in the development of their practice and to encourage arts organisations to make the art world a more inclusive place for artists with children. Since 2013 The Mothership has hosted workshops and discussions on issues facing parenting artists in Ireland. We have also hosted show & tell events and reading groups around the theoretical underpinnings of this equality- and solidarity-based project.


About the residency:

The Satellite residency programme is designed specifically for parenting artists in Ireland. Through an open call, parenting artists will be offered time and space at Cow House Studios in Wexford. Artists will be awarded the opportunity to develop new work, progress existing work, or get back to practice after taking time out to have children. ‘Satellite’ will offer childcare, accommodation, a stipend and a variety of time slots to artists who wish to take time out to focus on their practice. We will tailor the residency to the needs of the artist and their family, however each residency will be offered as one block of time and can not be divided into multiple shorter stays.




About Cow House Studios:

Cow House Studios have run a residency programme since 2008 in rural Co. Wexford. The studios are designed for flexibility of use, with 4 individual spaces, and a shared open studio floor for larger group projects and alternative working methods. The studio also offers a darkroom, computer lab and lounge, with access to some tools and digital equipment. For more details on Cowhouse studios see


The Satellite Residency is open to Irish parenting contemporary visual artists or artists living and working in Ireland (you must have been living in Ireland for at least 1 year prior to your application). A variety of visual art disciplines are eligible to apply including, but not limited to, traditional media, media/new genre, performance, film/video, socially engaged practices. Artists enrolled in an academic program during the time of the residency are ineligible to apply. Please note applicants should demonstrate a working history in the visual arts.  

Additional Requirements:

Artists selected for the residency will be invited to present on their art practice in a public forum and conduct an interview that will be podcast on The Mothership Project and other platforms as part of the ancillary events of Satellite. The residency is also an opportunity for The Mothership Project to gather information from the participating artists on their experience of being a parenting artist in Ireland. The information gathered will be used as part of the final publication of research as part of the Satellite project.


How to Apply:

Please send us –

  1. Answers to the 7 questions below

  2. A CV (4 pages maximum)

  3. Up to 8 Images that support your application. Please label your images and give the selection panel additional information/context (maximum 100 words per image).

  4. For videos/films/audio, please provide links to your own website, Vimeo page, YouTube page, etc. Do not attach actual video files.


Please send your information as one PDF* with your name as the file title, e.g. JohnMurphy.pdf

Email applications to:

Please title your email – Satellite application and [your name]

(*You can use Adobe Acrobat to create one pdf file or here is a link to a free pdf merge website

Application questions:

  1. Tell us about your work and some specific examples (max 300 words).
  2. What is it that motivates you and your work? (max 150 words).
  3. Why do you want to do the Satellite residency? What would you plan to do on the residency? (max 200 words).
  4. What difference will this make to your practice (max 100 words).
  5. How did you hear about the Mothership Project and this call for proposals (max 20 words).
  6. Are you coming
  • Solo
  • Solo with kids (How many and ages)
  • With children and partner

7. Where do you see your practice currently

  • Active practice with need for time
  • Lapsed practice – seeking to find ways back in
  • Newly parenting – practice in transition


Please email if you have any questions about your application.




Arts Council Project Award 2018

We are delighted to announce that we received an Arts Council Project award to conduct a survey and research into parent artists in Ireland and to curate and host a residency at Cow House Studio’s.

Satellite in partnership with COW HOUSE STUDIOS

The Mothership propose to host Satellite a series of family friendly residencies to support the parent artist to develop new work. The residency will be open to all parent artists through an Open Call and juried selection process offering up to 10 residencies.

The Aim of this residency is to challenge perfected “norms” of residencies which are otherwise not suited for mother/father artists and their families and by their nature exclusionary to those artists who are already dealing with an unequal infrastructure.

Through the generosity of Rosie O Gorman & Frank Abruzzie of Cow House Studio, SATELLITE will form a structured and direct challenge to the residency format in that it will welcome artists with their families in a series of dedicated periods of self directed residency programmes with childcare support.

Since 2013 The Mothership Project has grown from strength to strength and has drawn many artists together to network, debate and support each other through practice. We have made links with other organisations internationally such as Cultural Reproducers in USA and Enemies of Good Art in UK. We have also linked in with MAM (Mothers Artist Makers) a network of artists who work in theatre in Ireland that grew out of the Waking the Feminists movement.

There has been a growing re-awakening to the inequalities that face women in society and particularly the impact of having children on women’s ability to continue to work and develop a successful career. The Mothership has developed alongside this and continues to challenge the prevailing systems through which artists make and present art in Ireland today.

Since 2013 we have been invited to take part in The Workers Café exhibition at Temple Bar Gallery 2013, Visual Artists Ireland Get together in 2015, to host a meeting to coincide with The History of Play by Eamon O Kane at Roscommon Arts Centre and to take part in a 3 month residency at IMMA in 2017 among other activities. SATELLITE will give The Mothership the opportunity to continue its work by delivering tangible opportunities that will assist parenting artists to make work without the pressure of having to mount an exhibition. For some it will be a chance just to get back into the studio.

My dream residency at the moment is for 3 days with childcare provided. That would be so valuable to have that bridge to get back into something that I have been out of for a few years – quote from Mothership meeting participant.

The Mothership are also aware of how important it is to listen to the needs of parenting artists and as a result will carry out extensive research through a survey to understand what the ideal circumstances are for parenting artists to take part in residency programmes to continue to dedicate time to developing their practice. While some research has been carried out through the Visual Arts Ireland into gender disparity in visual arts and how costs of expenses such as childcare impact on artists ability to make work, no comprehensive survey has been done to understand how it is for parenting artists work in Ireland today.

I came to a few meetings and I thought I am not going to practice art so I shouldn’t come to the meetings. And it is only now that my first child is 4 that I am thinking that I can actually start to think about this again. I feel like I have no practice. So what is the name for what I am? I feel like an emerging artist again so I personally need an incubation space to figure out myself. I don’t even know what my practice is about anymore because I took a break.  – quote from Mothership meeting participant.

The project’s success lies not just in the production of new works but the ability to make work through the provision of time and space to these practitioners. The project’s aim is a gathering of knowledge, a collaborative effort to see if things can be altered to accommodate this cohort of artists’ needs. The outcomes once gleaned will be captured in terms of working methods and considerations, success and failures, and will be of value both to artist within that catchment and to art institutions wanting to be more accommodating to parenting artists.


The Mothership at IMMA – Show and Tell Thursday 29th 10 am – 1 pm, Studio 12


As part of The Mothership Project residency at IMMA, we will host a Show and Tell event on Thursday 29th of June from 10 am – 1pm in Studio 12.  9 artists will give short presentations on their current work and 3 guest curators have been invited to attend – Marguerite O Molloy Programme Production Manager at IMMA, Hilary Murray curator at Artbox, and Rebecca Blake, education curator at the Irish Architecture Foundation. The show and tell gives a platform for parenting artists to discuss their work, get feedback and create greater visibility for their practice. Please join us for this event and as always children are welcome!


The Mothership Project Spring Gathering 2017, 11 am – 1pm 11th April Visual, Carlow

THe LozziwurmThe Lozziwurm, Yvan Pestalozzi, VISUAL Carlow 2017. Photo: Ros Kavanagh

To coincide with the exhibition The Playground Project at Visual, Carlow, The Mothership Project will host a gathering of parenting artists and arts workers living in the Kilkenny/Carlow region. The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers that addresses the particular needs of those with children working in the visual arts. The Spring Gathering will create the space for people to come together to discuss the current situation for parents working in the visual arts and to identify ways to move forward with The Mothership Project network.

The Mothership would specifically like to invite those working in the Kilkenny/Carlow/Wexford/Waterford region to discuss the experience for those in the region (however those from around the country are encouraged to attend too). We will discuss how parenting artists and arts workers might foster greater support and facilities for those with children within the region. If you are a parenting artist or arts worker YOU ARE the Mothership Project. Join in the conversation to see how the established institutions and existing art structures and facilities might better serve your needs!

The meeting will take place on the 11th of April between 11 am and 1pm. As always children are welcome and it is a great opportunity for them to engage with the exhibition. A 1 hour workshop will be facilitate for children of preschool age (4+). All are welcome and feel free to invite others who have not previously been part of Mothership events. Please RSVP to with your name, and the age of your child/children so we can prepare for the number who will attend.

The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers, founded in 2013. For more about The Mothership Project go to our about page

27th October 2016 Meeting Notes Limerick City Gallery


Gillian Kenny Shinnors welcomed the new members of the Mothership Project and gave an introductory presentation of the objectives of and background to the group. Everyone introduced themselves and gave a brief summary of their creative practice.

Maria Donoghue reviewed a paper written by Dr Stavros Stavrides entitled Towards the City of Thresholds. She discussed how the paper addresses the idea of transience and identity, and the possible direction the group could take in terms of permanence / temporary meeting spaces. She proposed that the group designs and makes a cabinet or mobile piece of furniture to contain the group belongings. This piece could become the Mothership, moving from meeting space to meeting space, blurring boundaries and always working within the Threshold Spaces. She suggested that this could become strategic, occupying selected spaces that would not normally allow women to participate in them. Pauline Goggins suggested that the furniture piece could be a tent or wigwam, and we become like nomads or travellers.

Jo Slade spoke about her practice and the mental fortitude she developed to maintain her focus. She explained that one must truly want to continue their work throughout all the family commitments, and that we, as mothers, should allow ourselves to “leave down some of the responsibility to give ourselves the psychic space we deserve” to practice. She also proposed that fallow periods are not wrong, and to embrace the change of pace. She suggested we read Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, or Ten Guineas, for a view into how important space both physical and psychic, is in the creative process.

Pauline Goggins put forward that women, in general, seem to have bought into invisibility. To work alongside men, women view the achievement of ‘sameness’ as success, rather than being the female ‘other’. She views the Mothership not as Mentorship (a dominant role) but as mothering, offering unconditional support, and suggested we read Italian philosopher, Luisa Muraro’s paper Diotima Verona.


We concluded that the presence of small children at such an intimate meeting ( seven participants) was problematic. My experience of the Summer Dublin Mothership meeting was that the meeting was big enough to absorb the presence of children and there was an assigned person to look after them, a pop up crèche essentially. Upon reflection we felt with our current numbers and member profile perhaps children could be included in every second meeting going forward. I have spoken to a number of mothers informally in the last few weeks, they have expressed that the 6pm
limerickcgofarttime slot is an issue for them. We will consider looking at a Saturday afternoon meeting in the New Year.

Maria Donoghue & Gillian Kenny Shinnors

Limerick Branch of the Mothership Project to establish

I’m delighted to an announce that Limerick will now have monthly meetings at the Hub Space, Limerick City Gallery of Art. Our next meeting is on Thursday 27th of October at 6pm. Provisionally our future dates are 17th of Nov and 8th of December.

I will give an overview of the work of the Mothership to date and give a synopsis of our last meeting and research to date. Pauline Goggin and Jo Slade will speak about their experiences of maintaining their practices in the midst of raising children. New members are welcome and in Mothership fashion, children are of course welcome also. Art Materials will be provided for their use.

Please contact Gillian Kenny Shinnors, should you require further information


The Mothership Project Summer Gathering 2016 at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin – August 5th at 11 am

The Mothership Project Summer Gathering
August 5th at 11 am Temple Bar Gallery

As part of a series of events for the exhibition My Brilliant Friend

mothership 3rd place at project 3

As part of the exhibition My Brilliant Friend at Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin which considers female solidarity, work, economy, protest and how to negotiate life in Dublin as an artist and a woman in 2016, The Mothership will host a summer gathering for parenting artists and arts workers. The meeting will create the space for people to come together to discuss the current situation for parents working in the visual arts and to identify ways to move forward with The Mothership Project network.

Tara Kennedy will give a short report on her ongoing architectural research project Permanently Temporary undertaken with The Mothership Project to explore the experience of architecture in shared, cultural and co-working spaces for parents with our young children, questioning how the design of these places might better support radical and active citizenship, flexible working practices and exchange of ideas, and therefore contribute to more socially diverse and inclusive living.

Tara Derrington from M.A.M (Mothers Artists Makers) will join us to discuss the founding of a network of parenting theatre practitioners as a result of the hugely influential #Waking The Feminists campaign, while also considering shared issues and objectives between our two groups.

As always children are welcome and art materials will be provided for their use. All are welcome and feel free to invite others who have not previously been part of Mothership events. Please RSVP to so we can prepare for the number of adults and children who will attend.

The Mothership Project is a network of parenting artists and arts workers, founded in 2013 to consider and address particular issues and challenges for those with children working in the visual arts. For more information on our activities to date go to

Image: Mothership Project meeting in Project Arts Centre, 2015