The Good Hatchery was originally founded in 2007 by a group of 5 graduates from Irelands National College of Art and Design (NCAD) as a response to the economic and other obstacles facing emerging artists during the boom years of the Celtic tiger.
The building that houses the Good Hatchery was found in 2006 via Free-Cycle, an online recycling network, when Carl Giffney made contact with Eileen Hanlon through an advert that read ‘Wanted: derelict house or ruin for artists to live in and renovate’. Eileen generously offered a nineteenth century hayloft for this purpose that, the year before, had received a new roof, floor and windows. The building was weather proof and split into two floors but was in need of further development.
In July 2007 On graduation five artists Ruth E Lyons, Carl Giffney, Chris Timms, Elaine Reynolds and Rory Grubb, began the process of renovating the space into a residential studio. All materials for the work were obtained for free through recycling and salvaging systems. By November the space was habitable and could accommodate art and making and all that goes with it. Work including plumbing, wiring, building, glazing and the installation of internet and sauna have been carried by the Good Hatchery while a steady stream of artists use the space and participate in the many projects that take place there. From 2009 on The Good Hatchery has been run by Ruth E Lyons and Carl Giffney.
Please see acknowledgments for the many people who have helped to make this happen.
“It has been said that under two percent of fine art graduates proceed to make an art related career for themselves in Ireland. Even less become practicing artists. Although we understand that the reasons for this statistic are very complicated, we believe that many of its central causes may be financial in origin. It becomes extremely difficult to keep up a contemporary art practice immediately after college without either compromising ones ideals or ones health. What seems to have become overlooked to some degree, in Ireland, is that the bulk of these financial pressures exist mainly in Dublin.
We believe that it has become a myth that an emerging artist needs to stay in a city to become an established artist. The majority of the connection that our contemporaries maintain with the art world and its opportunities is conducted via the internet. Broadband internet has, only in the last year, become widespread and affordable enough to keep this connection intact in rural areas. It is in these rural areas that artists can find large buildings free of rent and enjoy a cheaper cost of living. We intend the Good Hatchery to be an experiment in solving some of the problems associated with emerging as a young contemporary artist while simultaneously attempting to spread provocative art tactics and their outcomes out of the capital where it seems to maintain a stronghold.
We believe that rural contexts can offer diverse and unique social contexts that, due to the geographical make up of Ireland, for example, effect the majority of people living on the Island. This context can easily be overlooked by contemporary art practice. We would hope to highlight some of the rich resources and opportunities that are actually available to the emerging artist in rural Ireland by exhibiting and working with local and national bodies. We also feel that the specific experiment that we have set up deals with much larger narratives that are played out globally.”
-Carl Giffney, 2007