Dance theatre artist Rachel Brennan has been awarded the South East Venue Network (SEVN)’s Arts Council-funded Artist Bursary for 2022.
The Waterford native, a performer and maker of multi-disciplinary shows and short films, has ambitious plans to develop the South East as a destination for dance in Ireland and will use the bursary to progress a number of existing and new projects. These include developing her show ‘Losing Your Body’ at Theatre Royal and Garter Lane in Waterford and commencing production on new show ‘Mosh’, which is set to tour nationally in 2023.
“I have yet to bring one of my shows home to Waterford, despite having a strong desire to, and coming close on some occasions”, Rachel commented. “With the support of SEVN, this goal may be achieved.”
SEVN, which is comprised of Wexford Arts Centre, Theatre Royal Waterford, Courthouse Arts Centre, Tinahely, Co. Wicklow, Mermaid Arts Centre, Bray, Wicklow, Garter Lane, Waterford, National Opera House, Wexford, Visual, Carlow and Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny originally created the bursary in 2021 to provide much-needed financial and network support to an artist based in the South East region whose art practice had been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The award is open to artists of all disciplines living and making work in the region who have presented or exhibited work in a professional context within the last 5 years.
As the recipient, Rachel will receive a €13,500 financial bursary to support her art practice development in 2022/23 and in-kind support, including access to venue facilities, technical, management and communication support as well as mentoring and promotion support from SEVN network venues.
Mary Boland, Theatre Royal Waterford Manager and SEVN co-ordinator, said:
“The bursary award was developed to provide opportunity for venues across the region to collaboratively support a professional arts practitioner to develop their art practice. Our key aim is to provide Rachel with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and critically engage with her art. In time, we hope to work together to find additional ways to support further these artists in the region through the SEVN network.”
Long-term, Rachel has ambitions for Waterford and the South East to become a year-round destination for dance, bringing national and international artists/companies to the area for residencies and workshops whilst also building audiences for dance theatre:
“I would like to produce events in the South East that are more commonly seen in Dublin and international cities, such as work-in-progress performance nights, interdisciplinary club nights and even small progressive festivals”, she continued. “The bursary will be a significant support to me over the next 12 months, giving me the space and resources to dedicate energy to the growth of contemporary arts audiences in the South East, helping me to build a sustainable life-work-community balance here and allowing me to make more considered choices about my career.”