Kilkenny artist Alec O’Leary has been awarded a PLATFORM 31 artist bursary.
A nationwide artist development scheme by the 31 Local Authority Arts Offices, in collaboration with the Arts Council
Kilkenny artist Alec O’Leary has been announced as one of the 31 recipients of the inaugural PLATFORM 31 bursary, the national development scheme for artists to develop their practice and test new ideas of collaboration, research, audience development, place based arts and sharing their work.
Alec O’Leary said: “Inspiration most often comes from collaborating and exchanging artistic ideas with my peers. The prospect of exchange conversations with a peer network will be remarkably productive for all involved and would offer a real contribution to our combined cultural life. Participation in this scheme will provide me with the opportunity to re-identify with my audiences and in fact reinvent the way I communicate my art form."
Developed by the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers (ALAAO), in collaboration with the Arts Council, PLATFORM 31 offers financial and developmental support for the 31 mid-career artists awarded.
Speaking about the scheme, Mary Butler, Arts Officer, Kilkenny County Council said: “Kilkenny Arts Office is delighted to be part of this national programme enabling us to continue to play our role in supporting the development and progression of artists careers. Covid-19 has, of course, brought its own particular challenges to an already challenging profession and the opportunity to support artists both as individuals and collectively, by way of financial support, peer support, advice and mentoring is one which I believe will richly reward the successful applicant and the arts across the country.”
Participating artists will receive an €8,000 bursary to invest in themselves and their practice, combined with participation in an advisory and developmental framework and a peer network.
The pilot scheme is envisioned as a platform for the participants to value their time, to showcase their work and their collaborations, sharing their learnings locally and nationally as a legacy of the project.
For over 35 years Local Authority Arts Offices have worked directly with artists to ensure the arts thrive in all communities. Working in a grass roots and foundational way has allowed Arts Officers to identify and to respond to the needs of artists, keeping the arts and cultural agenda focussed and relevant in changing environments.
The carefully considered support network built into Platform 31 sets this bursary scheme apart. The scheme will establish a peer networking framework for participating artists, introducing them to a pool of critical thinkers to share their work and learnings, and encouraging a national conversation about creating work in local contexts. The exact nature of this artist support framework will be informed by the proposals and interests of the 31 artists selected.