What is an island?


           Art & Archipelagic Thinking in the 21st Century


I find it quite pleasant to pass from one atmosphere to another through crossing a border. We need to put an end to the idea of a border that defends and prevents. Borders must be permeable; they must not be weapons against migration or immigration processes.
—Édouard Glissant in One World in Relation

In 2018 the B.A.V.A: Dublin School of Creative Arts (DIT/GradCAM) will partner with CREATE: National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts and Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, to present a series of seminars, workshops and exhibitions exploring Art & Archipelagic Thinking in the 21st Century.

Archipelagic Thinking is a concept developed by Martinique poet and philosopher Édouard Glissant (1928-2011) to define the thinking of composite, "hybrid cultures", as opposed to “continental thinking,” defined by hegemonic, centralized power. For Glissant, the archipelagic dynamic represents a thinking of mulitplicity, flow and relationality, it is rooted in multiple origins that resist "the adventures of the single root, of ethnic or linguistic purity"(Édouard Glissant 1989-92), and it troubles identities that can be nationalistic and atavistic. As Johathan Pugh has suggested, the water between islands is as much a significant factor in the archipelagic sensibility as land mass, ‘islands qua archipelagos invite us to recover a history and a practice of what Brathwaite called tidalectics; of tossings, across and between seas, of people, things, processes and affects: “technologies for un-islanding” (Pugliese,2011:p.148). Within the current European climate of mass migration and brexit negotiations, Kristian Van Haesendonck proposes to rethink the shifting dynamics of european identity in the 21st century, through the lens of archipeligic thought,

Europe is undergoing a process of creolization: a cultural exchange with unpredictable results. This is quite similar to what has been happening in the Caribbean over the past five centuries. I am trying to reflect on how we can use Caribbean concepts and experiences in the European framework.

Led by the single question: What is an Island?, the current programme will seek to develop a similar understanding of archipelagic thinking through collaborative arts practice, culminating in a large scale exhibition at the Skibbereen Arts Festival in July/August 2018. Supported by an educational platform, this exhibition will investigate island sensibilities, island governance and address critical questions about borders, nations and connectedness.



Research:      What is An Island? 

               Dr Tim Stott (D.I.T) Sherkin Island. Fri. 9th March. 2018

               BABY FOREST (Ballydehob)Fri. 9th March.2018

               Dr. Michael Birchall (Tate Liverpool)Sherkin Island. Sat. 10th March. 2018









Sherkin Lighthouse with Baltimore Beacon in distance-Tony.jpg



Sherkin Island...the ancestral home of the O’Driscoll clan, is the most accessible island in Ireland – only ten minutes by ferry from the small fishing port of Baltimore, Co.Cork. The island boasts a wonderful array of landscapes, Atlantic views from the hilltops, fuchsia-scented lanes and the finest sandy beaches. The Abbey, located near the pier was built in 1460 by Fineen O’Driscoll and is a fine example of medieval monastic architecture.


Wild flowers abound on Sherkin. It is second only to the Burren in its botanical richness. Many birds breed on the island and rare migrants pass through in spring and autumn while butterflies and dragonflies adorn the lanes...read more...











The BA (Hons) in Visual Art had its genesis in a series of pilot programmes jointly developed by the School of Art, Design & Printing at the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) and the Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and delivered in the Community Hall on Sherkin Island between 2000 and 2003. This four year modular honours degree programme offers a dynamic and creative education in the visual arts and is fully accredited, managed and delivered by the Dublin Institute of Technology. Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS) and West Cork Arts Centre have been active partners in the planning and implementation of the programme...read more...
















The BA in Visual Art is a unique opportunity to study visual art on Sherkin Island , County Cork. This 4 year honours degree programme offers a dynamic and creative education in a remarakable location by using a combination of studio practice workshops on Sherkin Island with a range of online distance education technologies. The primary aim of the programme is to provide students with an advanced knowledge of the nature, role and potential of contemporary art. This emphasis is sympathetic to context, in particular the possiblities offered by art for remote rural communities...read more...












Graduates establish themselves as professional artists and can also find employment in the cultural and community sectors as gallery and studio assistants, arts officers in County Council Offices,  curators and as arts administrators. There are also opportunities for employment in the teaching profession and to pursue graduate studies up to PhD level...read more...












The Visual Art staff take pride in being a well-integrated team who enjoy working together and have established a friendly atmosphere within which to cultivate the best learning experiences for our students. We thrive on a diversity of opinion, taste and approach. Our team comprises practising artists, critics and curators who cover the whole spectrum of contemporary art practice and art-related knowledge.   We are all actively involved in the contemporary cultural scene as organisers, makers and commentators.

Core Team:

    Programme Co-ordinator:    Dr. Glenn Loughran...


    Local Facilitators:        Majella O'Neill Collins

                               Adrian Legg

                               Fergus Murphy

    DIT Fine Art Staff...








             Digital Media


The remote nature of the course places an emphasis on the use of new technologies and platforms to expand student engagement with the content of the course. Many of the lectures and workshops are performed through the internet and utilise digital technologies to support blended pedagogical techniques. The students have worked with online video editing tools such as Mozilla Firefox's POPCORN platform to create video essays for a first year Critical Theory module, and are currently using the SWIVL classroom robot to gain a more fluid representation of the lectures available in Grangegorman. Future projects will see the introduction of a module on Second Life within the context of a module on Art & Environment and the expanded use of e-portfolios throughout the course.  

The course team is committed to testing and evaluating these tools within the framework of educational research...read more...












Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre has been a partner with the B.A.V.A since its inception, and continues to play a pivotal role in its student community. 

Designed as a purpose-built building for the arts in West Cork, Uillinn comprises two contemporary galleries, three artists' studios, a work space, a multi-purpose dance, performance, film, lecture space,café, courtyard, office space. Established in 1985 in Skibbereen, Co. Cork. It is a publicly funded arts facility that creates opportunities for the people of West Cork to have access to, and engagement with, local and global arts practice of excellence. It supports a multi-disciplinary arts programme with a focus on contemporary visual art . 

The Education and Community Programme provides services on site at West Cork Arts Centre for artists, children, young people, adults, families, older people and people with disabilities. The Centre also provides outreach services in schools, hospitals, day care centres, youth projects and with active retirement groups and community groups throughout the West Cork region.  

A full exhibition programme running throughout the year comprises work by local, national and internationally artists...read more...






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      1/  LECTURE:     LUCY LIPPARD  

          TITLE:       "GROUND LEVEL"


          DATE:        2002 





           TITLE:      "DRIFT"


           DATE:       2012



Barry's van1 small.jpg


           TITLE:       "THE BARRY'S VAN TOUR"


           DATE:        2OO7




      4/   ARTWORKS:    VARIOUS

           TITLE:       "lIVING LANDSCAPE"


           DATE:        2OO5






Sherkin Island Development Society (SIDS)is one of the main partners for the BAVA and employs 3 staff members to help deliver the programme on Sherkin. SIDS members support the programme by overseeing the financial running of the programme and voluntarily giving their time and space for final year exhibitions. SIDS is responsible to the Department of Arts Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Cork County Council and its members.Founded in 1983 as Sherkin Island Community Development Association, was registered in 1994 as a co-operative. Its main objective is, to promote and aid educational, economic, social and cultural development for the community. From September 2012 the course has been jointly funded by Cork County Council and the Department of  Arts Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs formerly Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

The Department Of Arts Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

The Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs oversees the protection and presentation of Ireland’s heritage and cultural assets and promotes long-term sustainable economic and social progress across rural Ireland. Their goals are to promote and protect Ireland’s heritage and culture, to advance the use of the Irish language, to advance economic and social progress in rural Ireland, to support the sustainable development of the islands and to develop cultural tourism. A central objective of this Department is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Cork County Council

Cork County Council is the authority responsible for local government in County Cork.  As a county council, it is governed by the Local Government Act 2001. The council is responsible for housing and community, roads and transportation, urban planning and development, amenity and culture, and environment. The head of the council has the title of Mayor. The county administration is headed by a Chief Executive, Martin Riordan. Cork County Council support the islands through the West Cork Island Interagency. The BAVA programme ties in with the Islands Intergrated Development Strategy.




            For more details on BA in Visual Arts on Sherkin Island please


                        Dr.Glenn Loughran at glenn.loughran@dit.ie.











































Graduation Show 2016