SPARK is coming to Mohill in 2016
SPARK is a partnership project of Leitrim County Council Arts Office and the Local Enterprise Office Leitrim with the support of the Arts Council. It is aimed at artists who are interested in working in new environments and companies who are interested in collaborating with artists and promoting creativity within their organisations.
In the course of the programme the resident is provided with the opportunity to undertake work inspired by the environment, materials, staff or working practices of a company. As collaborator, the artist can propose new and different creative and innovative paths, and serve as a catalyst for reflection and new thinking within the company. The artist can develop new projects or programmes or address areas where benefit to the company could accrue such as adoption of new attitudes towards creativity in the workplace or adoption of new attitudes towards service users, customers or the wider society.
This year’s selected artist is Leo Scarff. Leo is an artist and designer, originally from Dublin but now living and working in Manorhamilton since 2009. Leo would very much like to engage with the local community for certain aspects of his project entitled:
Leo’s proposal is to develop a multi-layered digital – art, craft and design project based at Mohill Enterprise Centre which will use the facilities at the centre (buildings, hardware & software) , the knowledge and skills of the staff and engagement with the local community, designers, craftspeople and artists to carry out the project
The world of technology and design is moving fast and Mohill like most rural parts of Ireland needs to move with the times, embrace new technologies and demonstrate to the world it’s capabilities, local talents and skills. This project is part research, part brainstorming/ capacity building workshop, part design/craft/art educational project and part artwork exhibition/installation. All these elements will combine over the course of 6 months to expand the repertoire of MEC across new disciplines, explore and demonstrate the amazing local talent and create a lasting series of informative 2D & 3D displays which the centre can use to promote itself into the future.
My plan is to undertake a diverse review of all the Arts, Crafts and Design work carried out by local people at present and in recent years and invite some individuals to participate in the project, visit local companies involved in traditional hand skills, manufacturing and those with a leaning towards developing new digital products or services. I will strive to explore the essence of the local community and environment, from past traditions to new skills brought home by returning emigrants. This will present directions to take workshops and distill meaningful proposals.
I would like to plan a short series of workshops inviting local artists, designers, craftspeople (professional and amateur) and people generally interested in creativity to brainstorming ‘show and tell’ sessions at the centre. Subsequently these sessions will ask participants to submit or develop ideas for products or artistic pieces which will hopefully use the facilities at MEC in their creation. These ideas can be individual or co-created and will foster innovation and ‘outside the box’ thinking wherever possible. All participants will be encouraged to develop their ideas, artworks or products for possible inclusion in local enterprise development iniatives thru the L.E.O. and I will work closely with MEC to promote these ideas.
Leo is a co-founder of the new Fablab in Manorhamilton www.fablabmh.org . Fablab stands for Fabrication Laboratory and in a nutshell it’s a learning space where new ideas and concepts can be developed, prototyped and tested. All Fablabs are mobile so I will be inviting the Fablab (hardware, software & staff) to visit MEC for a demonstration day open to the local community and invited guests to learn about the amazing technologies and possibly develop links between the organisations for future projects.
- Potential to develop lots of new connections to makers and manufacturers in the Mohill area and across the county
- Review of all creative activity in the local and general area and establishment of a fresh list of potential users of the centre
- Proposal of the establishment of new workshop activities across a range of disciplines but specifically using the computer hardware/software and training spaces
- I propose holding an exhibition of all the work carried out during the project at MEC.
Leo Scarff is an artist, designer, design lecturer, consultant and exhibition curator originally from Dublin now based in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim since 2009. He has over 20 years experience in the art and design world, set up his studio in 1997 and has lectured on design and design history since 1999. He was a founder member of the Irish Furniture Designers Network and has exhibited at trade fairs in Europe and the US. Leo has particular knowledge of product production, materials sourcing, creative brand development and is a passionate promoter of Irish Design, Art and Architecture. He has lectured and created courses for Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin Institute of Design,Grifith College and Portobello College and at Sligo Institute of Technology delivering courses in Interior Design, furniture, lighting design and Innovative materials. He has facilitated creativity and design workshops for DIT, Sligo IT, the Design and Crafts Council of Ireland, Harnessing Creativity and Leitrim Livecraft and more recently organised the Powered by Pecha Kucha Leitrim series of talks for Year of Design 2015.
Fablab Manorhamilton www.fablabmh.org