CONNECT Le Chéile Connecting the MTU Community through the Arts



MTU Arts Office

CONNECT Le Chéile Arts Project Fund

Supported Projects


MTU Arts Office is proud to announce the launch of the CONNECT Le Chéile Arts Project Fund, and introduce the inaugural series of supported projects. This fund is open to MTU staff, to support the development and production of Arts projects that benefit the MTU community, and that build connections between colleagues across the South West region and beyond.

CONNECT Le Chéile aims to

Develop a platform to support, develop, and share Arts projects in diverse areas across MTU.

Build and showcase connections through the Arts among staff, students, community and industry.

Promote the creative innovation and practice at the heart of MTU, an Arts Rich Technological University.




In this first series, 19 projects are supported from across the campusses and counties of MTU. These include innovative virtual, online, and window exhibitions; experimental and ambitious film, music, and theatre projects; hands-on explorations of historical art and craft materials; poetry and writing workshops; capturing student experiences during the Covid pandemic; recording arts-based teaching wisdom; and researching a re-introduction to the Irish language.


Here are brief profiles of a selection of the projects:

"It is proposed to complete a teaser / proof of concept for what will ultimately be a feature length experimental documentary. This process had begun just before lockdown in 2020, and we are proposing to continue with the teaser as planned, but also to investigate and determine whether or not we can complete the film as planned, while all working remotely, and geographically distanced.

The film itself is an exploration of individual and collective identity through the prism of the family 'black sheep' and the deterioration of his mental health.  This is intended as an autobiographical documentary, which takes its title from a persona which my uncle Billy adopted, soon after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, the Sioux warrior Little Crowe. 

The proposed film will utilize elements of dreamlike narrative in an attempt to capture the emotional ups and downs of Billy's life and of connecting with the mind of someone who habitually used mind-altering drugs in order to enhance or obliterate consciousness.  Billy led a colourful but brief existence (he died aged 40 in 1992) which he recounted to me during regular visits over the course of the last few years of his life.  His adventures included working for an Auschwitz survivor in America; getting deeply involved in the post Hippy and Punk countercultures in London and obliviously sharing a house with the real Guildford bomber.  The film recounts and re-imagines the stories, opinions, practical and cultural advice (which were the mainstay of our conversations) in a relentless visual and aural collage of original and archive material.  

The proposed budget would allow us not only to 'pick up where we left off', but allow us to resolve the main creative mix which always intended to determine the shape of the final film.  We had started the experimental process last year by starting to create the soundtrack for the film before the film was edited, so that the 'story' of the film would be told on the soundtrack, with the visuals responding to the completed sound design, rather than the conventional way of approaching the filmmaking process.  This proposed methodology needs active collaboration in real time, which is still possible to explore remotely. "

CONNECT Le Chéile supported the continuation of this project, at a time of severely reduced opportunities for many of the creative team.


Project led by Lucy Dawe Lane, MA:AP, MTU Crawford College of Art & Design.

"A new way of working on and off site with writer Judy Kravis and three recent graduates of MA:Art and Process, to explore ways of writing and making art as collaborations, centred around a visit to Judy Kravis’s woodland in May 2021. This visit, or virtual tour if restrictions require, will include a talk by Judy about her writing during lockdown, and will involve MA students making a response through either a written or visual notebook over a period of 6 weeks.

The workshops led by postgrads will not only provide further excercises in making/writing led by previous MA students for this year’s class, but will also give invaluable work experience to 3 recent graduates in teaching and learning. The employment of recent graduates for one off projects is new for this course and is an important departure which will be built into future teaching, funding permitted, building a strong post-graduate community around the course delivery."


A materials research project developed by John Cronin (Centre of Craft Studies).

"The project will look at a traditional lime stucco plaster recipe used by George P Bankart to make ornate stucco pieces on walls and ceilings during the early 20th century. Similar mixes were used by Michaelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and on the Castle in Nonsuch where stucco panels in-between the timber framing on the exterior was done by the Italian Artificer Nicholas Bellin of Modena. This will include the sourcing of materials, experimentation with mixes and their subsequent application by plasterers and artists."

Research and testing of materials and finishes included apprentices in Plastering, and Dr. Donal Moloney, lecturer in Painting at MTU CCAD. 



Developed by a multi-disciplinary project team including Department of Creative Media, ACE - Agritech Centre of Excellence, and Crawford College of Art & Design.

"The SCOPE Virtual Reality Gallery and Arts Centre facilitates connectivity and interdepartmental sharing, across the University and beyond, for current, past and future creatives of MTU. "

The SCOPE project responded to the lack of interaction available through online viewing platforms for creative image and multimedia work by developing an immersive virtual presentation environment utilising innovative technologies and design that exists outside of present or future physical access restrictions. Motivated in part but moving beyond the short-term restrictions imposed by the COVID19 pandemic, this project seeks to establish the infrastructure for an ongoing virtual space.




Developed by David Hayes (MTU CSM) and Nicky Bailey.

"A deep dive exploration of the score of the greatest Musical Theatre piece - West Side Story - in order to unearth many hidden gems contained within the score, heretofore unheard due to the expansive and detailed nature of the score and as yet uncaptured by any previous recordings - including Bernstein's own Carreras / Te Kanawa Sessions or the original movie soundtrack. "

This expansive project involving dozens of musicians and multi-level mastering got underway in 2019, and began ensemble recording shortly before COVID19 lockdown forced a postponement and reconfiguration of many elements. CONNECT Le Chéile funding supported some of the final stages of production and mastering.



Supporting the online and physical exhibition project presented by Department of Art in Health & Education and MTU Gallery at 46 Grand Parade.

May - June 2021 
View through the gallery windows, and online at

Online and window exhibition of creative works by staff, students, and graduates from across MTU that were submitted to the “Lockdown Creatives” open call.

This project was initiated to share the important role creativity has played in supporting us during the three lockdowns. It highlights the ‘beyond words’ ability of the arts to connect and give voice during the seemingly relentless experience. The arts have connected and nurtured us. They have enabled us to laugh and given us hope.


Developed by Sharon McCarthy, MTU Gallery at 46 Grand Parade

Supporting the establishment of microGALLERY - a new gallery space in MTU Crawford College of Art & Design, 46 Grand Parade campus. A space to exhibit exploratory works by curators and practising artists in any media, this space hopes to be a project that will continue and grow. 

"The concept of the microGALLERY is to create an area for experimental projects, in a space small enough to not be daunting and large enough to engage connection to visual art, and promotion of the artist’s work literally through a large window, a blank canvas to present exciting ideas with the advantage that it is a secure viewing platform for both public and staff during these unpredictable times. microGallery is an opportunity to create a space that interacts directly with the public. With the right support, this initiative can grow to encompass collaborations with other parts of MTU. This funding will directly go to supporting artists involved in the selected projects. "

Funding from Connect Le Chéile supported microGALLERY for its first 4 months, including a curated programme of exhibitions by alumni of CCAD. The funding enabled the artists to make new works for the space, developing the physical space and the microGallery concept.


Developed by Aoife Claffey and Feargal Cunningham.

Digital showcase of work by first year students at MTU Crawford College of Art & Design, taking the module "IT for Artists". At a time when physical production and exhibition formats were not possible due to COVID19 restrictions, this project brought their work together online. 

Project digital publication designed by Deirdre Breen, alumni of MTU CCAD.



GAITKRASH Theatre Company with Gabriela Mayer, presented for Cork Midsummer Festival 2021, supported by MTU Arts Office CONNECT Le Chéile. Premiered 21 June 2021.

Gaitkrash (Regina Crowley et al), in collaboration with pianist Gabriela Mayer, invoke the figure of Prometheus to re-ignite the spark of hope & renewal. This unique & compelling online performance features an exciting blend of cross-disciplinary art forms: classical piano, theatre, sound art & videography. Together the creative team has created a haunting fusion of image, sound & text against the dramatic backdrop of a melancholic warehouse on the Marina in Cork Docklands.

"Prometheus Now is a multimedia performance piece that speaks to the eternal cycle of devastation and regeneration, darkness and light. Inspired by the mythical figure of Prometheus, the artists have created a filmic weave of classical piano, sound art, text and visual image. It invokes the figure of Prometheus to ignite the spark of hope."



CARING DURING COVID - The Student Nurses’ Experience

Supporting the production phase of this project, developed by Catrina Heffernan, Senior lecturer, Department of Nursing & Healthcare Studies, MTU (Kerry Campus)

Research project by 84 3rd year Nursing students, gathering and analysing their own testimonies of experiences during their practicum placements in healthcare settings during the COVID19 crisis.  
Production of a video compiling these combined testimonies was identified as a means to share their stories with a wide audience.

The video includes testimonies from President of the International Council of Nursing, Dr. Annette Kennedy; and Catherine MacCleyland, NMBI.






External Project Partners: Crawford Art Gallery, Cork Midsummer Festival, ACE - Agritech Centre of Excellence, Dingle Literary Festival, Cork City Council, Windmill Lane Recording Studios, Road Books



Crawford Art Gallery

Cork Midsummer Festival

ACE - Agritech Centre of Excellence

Dingle Literary Festival

Cork City Council

Windmill Lane Recording Studios

Road Books