Co-Create 2020

Co-Create 2020

in Archive


Collaborative projects have the potential to induce energy into each participants practice and offer a fresh perspective on ways to create and develop new work. By collaborating with other people, you are opening yourself up to countless new ideas and directions, not to mention new markets. Collaborating with other people can breathe new life into your work. Working with someone else, or to somebody else’s brief, can take you in totally unexpected directions. That can be an exciting journey and one that’s worth trying.  

CO-CREATE was a project developed by the Leitrim Design House in 2019 which ran throughout 2019 and 2020. The project's aim was to introduce an exciting new Bursary Programme for the creative sector in County Leitrim. Three Bursaries were made available, each offering €1,500 for collaborative projects. Co-CREATE was developed in order to:

  • Support the professional development of makers working in the creative sector in County Leitrim
  • Support the development of new work and new ideas.
  • Stimulate innovation via a collaborative process.
  • Encourage exploration of alternative mediums and ways of thinking.
  • Explore cross-disciplinary opportunities

The outcome focused primarily on the process of collaboration. Practitioners were invited to submit a proposal following a call out to the sector. Eligible applications were assessed by an independent panel based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit of proposed project
  • Originality/Innovation of proposed project
  • Track record of artist (or potential for emerging artists)
  • Proven commitment to high quality arts practice
  • Plans for future production/realisation
  • Likely benefit of activity on artist’s practice
  • Understanding of collaboration


An example of work produced through the emerging collaboration between textile artist Catherine Gray and painter Cathy Reynolds. Catherine and Cathy explored their collaboration by experimenting with different types of printing processes, layering effects and repetitive processes. They started out with fabrics with a flexible approach, trying out new techniques.  The Japanese printing workshop they attended in Sligo introduced them to new materials not used before.

Kate Murtagh Sheridan and Fionnuala Maxwell began their collaborative journey together through the Co-Create project, and later continued to produce a book telling the story of Brian O'Lynn through picture, story, song and interactive media.

Participating in the Co-Create workshops helped the collaborators to steer in a different and new path, rather than giving into the temptation to revert to previous working habits. The workshops also strengthened the collaborative process and motivated the artists. 

Compromise will always be necessary in collaboration, however, there are numerous benefits. Collaboration gives impetus to try out another’s materials and equipment. Partners benefit by swapping ideas and methods of working.The artists got a better feel of how their collaborative partners worked by visiting each other’s workspaces. This gave a better insight into how they operate, also providing inspiration for future personal practice.

Co-Create was made possible through funding from Creative Ireland.