I started this Blog in April 2011 to document my time while on residency in the Arthouse, Stradbally, Co. Laois in Ireland.

The Arthouse Studios and Library had just been refurbished having served, formally, as the old courthouse and prison cells in Stradbally. As part of my award I was allocated a beautiful large new studio with plenty of natural light. My aim was to explore the meaning of creativity and contemporary art with a group of local volunteers. 2011 was the Year of Craft, so I intended to merge concepts of fine art and craft.

The objective of the program is to facilitate weekly dialogue and workshop sessions on contemporary art and its relevance to the Stradbally community. The core of my work responds in particular to discarded consumer products and their reproductive values. Through a systematic process of intervention, I create work that examines polarities of scale, the fragile and the robust, using discarded familiar objects, products and materials. My vision for the year was to use universal, everyday products, and incorporate practices of recycling and remaking into the realm of human interactions, set within their social context.

Cultúrbug as a group originally formed in March 2011 in response to advertisements and personal door-to-door invitation by Vera. As a group they held the first Arthouse exhibition in June 2011.

Vera McEvoy from Celbridge, Co. Kildare has been awarded the Arthouse Studio NCAD Graduate Award 2011.

During her residency at the Arthouse Vera will explore, with a small group of local volunteers, how creativity and recycling can help reclaim identity and bring skills and confidence back into Irish society. In weekly workshops participants will work with waste and recycled materials to create artworks using the media of video, sculpture, craft, design and print. The results will be exhibited in a collaborative installation. The group will ensure that the spaces for this exhibition resonate with the material content of the work. In this way, Vera aims to show the relevance of art, design and craft to participants’ lives.

The project will investigate the shifting perspective of the artist as she moves from central creator to catalyst, developing the arts of listening and storytelling. Vera believes that ‘relationship and engagement with society lie at the heart of contemporary art and can facilitate social change. This award will raise awareness and appreciation of art to a wide range of social demographics. It will enhance both participants’ and my own creative and spiritual growth. Making art is profoundly emotional for me. It expresses hope and proposes an alternative way of living that challenges both me and my society.’

Vera McEvoy can be contacted at or 00353 862584367