This cool new arts residency wants to transform interstellar space waste into sculpture art

Greywood Arts is a wonderful artist residency and workshop in Killeagh Village, County Cork, Ireland. Like many places in both the hospitality and arts industries, they've been at a standstill during the pandemic, using the time as best they can to continue renovating and modernizing the historic Georgian property they call home.

But now, another neat opportunity has arisen: they've teamed up with the National Space Centre of the European Union at the nearby Elfordstown Earthstation to establish a unique new artist residency program specifically aimed at sculpture artists working with space technology debris.

And yes, "Elfordstown Earthstation" is a real thing.

From the press release:

"Greywood Arts is centred around the idea of artists and community coming together to explore the creative process," said Jessica Bonenfant Coogan, Greywood's Artistic Director. "Having the National Space Centre in our area means we can offer this exceptional opportunity for an artist to utilise unusual materials to create art that investigates reuse." 

"We're excited to share space communications components including circuit boards, assemblies and data subframes with a sculptor, as well as preserved panels from our recently dismantled 11-metre EU-5B4 dish," explained NSC CEO Rory Fitzpatrick. "The decommissioned dish is a great example of the kinds of space sector refuse being generated as technology accelerates. This residency is a chance to cooperatively re-purpose what we can't recycle and see what emerges creatively from space waste." 

The residency will see the selected artist on site at the NSC, collecting materials and investigating the other-worldly campus environment, before returning full-time to Greywood to begin a sculptural piece. It will conclude with an exhibition of the completed work at the end of the year, open to the public and planned to take place at the National Space Centre.  

Full disclosure: I've known Jessica Bonenfant Coogan of Greywood Arts since before I could drive. She's a wonderful human and an endlessly passionate champion for the arts (plus, her and her husband are responsible for introducing me to the Cork Butter Museum where I had one of my most singularly wonderful museum experiences). But even if we weren't friends, I would still be fascinated by this unique opportunity to re-purpose junked space exploration hardware into installation art. And I'm excited for the day when I can travel overseas again and see what they've come up with!

If you're interested in fiddling with space junk, applications should be available soon on the Greywood Arts website.

Space Waste in the Spotlight as National Space Centre Announces Artist Residency with Greywood Arts [National Space Centre / Greywood Arts]