How to Flatten a Mountain


How To Flatten A Mountain

Arts Residency
24 April–5 May 2017


How to Flatten a Mountain is an exciting 12 days residency opportunity presented by PhotoIreland & Cow House Studios, and with the support of OPW, open to emerging and mid-career visual artists whose artistic practice in whole or part, makes use of digital and/or analogue photographic processes.

The colophon of the residency is an exhibition of the works produced,
presented during the PhotoIreland Festival at Rathfarnham Castle.



The 12 artists that will participate in How to Flatten a Mountain in 2017 are: Benedetta Casagrande, Kate Petley, Lauren Roeder, Mike Callaghan, Nathan Harris, Patricia Howard, Roisin White, Ruth Connolly, Val Patterson, Valéry Pelletier, Yinon Avior, and Zhao Qian.

The aim of this residency is for participating artists to explore possibilities outside their core practice, work collaboratively and produce a cohesive exhibition of work to be presented at PhotoIreland Festival 2017. During the residency, participants will take an active part in a series of workshops led by guest facilitators and as a group will be sharing ideas, making work, processing, printing, editing, as needed, always working in collaboration. As an integral part of the residency, three artists based in Ireland will facilitate day-long workshops to provoke and animate different avenues for thought. Each facilitator brings to the residency new perspectives, challenges and opportunities for participants.

This twelve-day programme is comprised of three component parts; workshop facilitation, open studio time and the installation and opening of an exhibition in Dublin for PhotoIreland Festival 2017. The first five days of the programme will be comprised of a carefully selected series of workshops, readings and presentations designed to stimulate the creative process, facilitate collaboration, familiarise participants with the people and places of the locality and tease out shared curiosities and thematics. The following five days provide the necessary time and space to create new work. Following on from our initial workshops, the open studio time allows for participants to re-visit sites of interest, research, print and finalise work for presentation. The final two days will be spent in Dublin installing the exhibition, culminating in an opening on the final evening of the programme.

This residency opportunity is sure to result in the production of new work, introduce participants to a network of practitioners from a diversity of locations, provide a fantastic exhibition opportunity and open up new possibilities within each participant practice.

Residency Details

The residency project will take place at the fabulous Cow House Studios, Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland. Open to local and international participants, the cost of the 12 days residency is €950 and it includes:

  • Three delicious and healthy meals daily while at Cow House Studios
  • Lunch and dinner while in Dublin
  • Most comfy accommodation while at Cow House Studios*
  • Informative and challenging readings, workshops and presentations
  • Travel to and from Dublin
  • Ink and paper for our printers, film and b&w paper for darkroom
  • Access to all Cow House Studios facilities, computers, darkroom, and studios
  • *Price does not include room and board while in Dublin. For a fee, we will arrange accommodation for two nights at the end of the residency for the duration of the install. Note that flights and airport transport are not covered.
Cow House Studios
Cow House Studios
Cow House Studios

Workshop Facilitators:


Kim Haughton completed her MA in Documentary Photography at London University of the Arts in 2013. She held her first solo exhibition In Plain Sight at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin in 2015. This body of work led to her nomination for the Prix Pictet award, the global prize in photography and sustainability. In that year, she was named by TIME magazine as one of the top nine Irish Photographers to watch. In July 2016, her series The Otherwhere was exhibited at the Solomon Fine Art Gallery in Dublin as part of the group exhibition entitled “Landscape Rising”.
Her images have appeared in publications worldwide including The Financial Times, Der Spiegel and Vanity Fair. Her image of horses outside an abandoned house became the iconic representation of Ireland’s economic collapse and was chosen as one of eleven images to to feature in the Guardian’s History of Europe In Pictures 1945-2011. In 2016, her portrait of the actor Gabriel Byrne was selected for the Hennessy Portrait Prize at the National Gallery of Ireland. Her work is held in the National Archives of Ireland. Her second solo show will open in Spring 2017 at The National Museum, Collins Barracks.
Aisling McCoy is a fine-art and commercial photographer based in Dublin. Her background as an architect is central to her practice, and her work investigates the conflict between architecture as an intellectual ideal- created through images, and its translation into built form. She is particularly interested in the ideological aspect of inhabitation and the role of both architecture and photography in the construction of the ideal.
Since graduating from the MFA programme at Belfast College of Art, University of Ulster, in 2015, Aisling’s work has been exhibited in Dublin, Belfast, London, Paris and Pingyao. Her photobook ‘The Radiant City’ was shortlisted for the Kassel Photobook Dummy Book award in 2015. She is currently working in a new body of work at the former Tempelhof airport in Berlin as part of the Belfast Exposed Futures programme which will be exhibited as a solo-show in April 2017.
Matthew Thompson is an Irish fine-art and commercial photographer. He had originally practiced as a designer before concentrating on photography. He completed his masters in Fine Art Photography at the University of Ulster 2014. His film represented Ireland in the Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism Shenzhen, China 2015/16. His work primarily concentrates how our conditioning influences our perception. He has exhibited in France, Ireland, England, Germany, Finland, China and presented at the Offset Festival in 2015. Clients include Philips, Monocle, Conde-Nast, Time-Warner, Cara, and EMI.

Cow House Studios

Project Coordinators:


Ángel Luis González Fernández is Founder and Director of PhotoIreland, an organisation that promotes a critical engagement with Photography. It organises yearly an international photographic festival in Dublin during May. Ángel won the David Manley Entrepreneur Award in 2011 for his work on PhotoIreland Festival. In 2011 he launched ‘The Library Project‘, a publicly accessible collection of publications about photography, whose holdings are currently in excess of 1500 items from 200 publishers worldwide. The collection travels around the world to festivals and is loaned to exhibitions like the forthcoming ‘Fenómeno Fotolibro’ at CCCB, Barcelona. The Library Project gives its name to PhotoIreland’s headquarters, offering a growing photobook library, an eclectic Art bookshop and a productive gallery. Angel has been a portfolio reviewer at various festivals such as Les Rencontres d’Arles, Format Derby, and Encontros Da Imagem. He published Martin Parr’s Best Books of the Decade in 2011, ‘New Irish Works’ in 2013, and the latest series of ‘New Irish Works‘ in 2016. He was a contributor to the last edition of Landskrona Foto 2016, focused on Irish Photography, and lectures at the Fine Art Photography Master at IED Madrid.
Frank Abruzzese is Co-Director of Cow House Studios along with his wife Rosie O’Gorman, which they established together on her ancestral home in 2008. As an artist Frank has exhibited his work extensively including the recent exhibitions HALFTONE, The Library Project, Dublin, 2015, 185th Annual Exhibition, RHA, Dublin, 2015, Fauna, Smith Andersen North Gallery, San Anselmo, CA, 2014, Live Load, Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford, 2014, and Adhocracy, Istanbul Design Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, 2012. His work has been published by Domus magazine and San Francisco Magazine and is part of the permanent collection of the Office of Public Works, Ireland. Frank has curated the exhibitions Give Way, Wexford Arts Centre, 2015, Forest, Wexford Arts Centre, 2014, They all came down from the mountain when they heard the good news, Monster Truck Gallery, Dublin & Wexford Arts Centre, Wexford, 2013 and Trace, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2003. Frank is a dedicated educator and as the photography instructor at Cow House, has a keen interest in a multidisciplinary, ideas-based approach to working with students. Frank obtained his BA in Moving Image Arts from the College of Santa Fe, NM in 2000, and his MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, CA in 2004.

Frank Abruzzese’s working methods are experimental and process driven. He is drawn to subjects that are both familiar and often overlooked, and uses photographic techniques to transform the mundane into something extraordinary or ambiguous. He investigates how subjects might collide with traditional interpretations of the landscape, architecture or portraiture, and how these expectations can be met through alternative means. His use film selection, exposure and digital techniques make small incursions into perceptions of photography’s assumed role as factual document.

Cow House Studios
How to Flatten a Mountain

The Office of Public Works With the kind support of the staff at Rathfarnham Castle and The Office of Public Works.