The Workhouse Test was a year-long research enquiry, facilitating a series of  experiments and exchanges based around contemporary art practice.  Occupying a large project space in rural Ireland, The Workhouse Test was housed within the grounds of The Workhouse, Prologue, Callan, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland.

A former famine workhouse, the building had many uses in it’s lifetime.  In an age of internet accessibility we endeavoured to use this notion of transience (and connectivity) as a model for our activities there,  whilst addressing the significance of location in sustaining practice and in the dissemination of work.

In questioning what it means to live in a non-urban location we were responding to

- a heavy reliance on internet connectivity

- limited potential for exchange/peer critique with audiences and other practitioners

- an unlimited use of free and unique space to work from

Through our investigations, we staged encounters with visiting and local participants, using the space for both physical and web-based interaction, intervention and invention.

The founders/facilitators of The Workhouse Test were:

Etaoin Holahan (curator), Bridget O’Gorman (artist) and Kate Strain (curator)

THE PROJECT SPACE:

Erected in 1840, the Workhouse complex has housed (among other things) – a 69-bed fever hospital, ‘idiot cells’, stables, a wash-house, a bake-house as well as a knitwear factory.

The Workhouse Test Project Space contains lime render walls and temporary flooring.  It is situated underneath the former boy’s dormitory.

SOME LINKS:

Commonage

Endangered Studios

The Good Hatchery

Kilkenny Arts Festival

Butler Gallery

KCAT

ARTISTS WE HAVE WORKED WITH:

Matt Calderwood

Sam Keogh

Eilis McDonald

Lorraine Neeson

Tessa Power

Brad Troemel