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ArtNature/ NatureArt Call

The Crespo Foundation
Artist-in-Residence Programme “ArtNature/NatureArt” in Glenkeen Garden in Ireland; Competition and application

The Crespo Foundation has launched a new project: the artist-in-residence programme “ArtNature/NatureArt” in West Cork on the south coast of Ireland.

The aim of the programme is to encourage the development of groups of young artists from Europe and Russia and raise the international profile of their work. The theme of art and nature comes from the location of the residency, the Glenkeen Garden estate. To explore this topic as extensively and as deeply as possible, the Crespo Foundation provides artists with a network of humanities scholars and scientists for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary exchange. The intention is for Glenkeen Garden Residencies to give space, time and inspiration for close collaboration as a team, with the goal of producing innovative works that will then be shown in Frankfurt am Main and other European cities, as well as virtually to a broader public.

Art collectives working in different disciplines are invited to apply to spend two to three months staying and working at Glenkeen Garden.

The residencies take place twice a year. The next two residency phases are from August to October 2022 and March to May 2023.

The Foundation

The Crespo Foundation is based in Frankfurt am Main and was set up by the photographer, psychologist and philanthropist Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019). This charitable foundation supports artists and arts institutions and carries out operational projects in the fields of art, education and social affairs. In line with Ulrike Crespo’s wishes, Glenkeen Garden in Ireland now also belongs to the Crespo Foundation and is becoming a place for artists to reflect on nature and the state of the planet.


Throughout history, in numerous cultures and religions gardens have been interpreted as symbols of paradise-like harmony. Monastery gardens, baroque gardens and Zen gardens too were often geometrically arranged in enclosed worlds. Since the Enlightenment, however, the garden of paradise has increasingly become synonymous with a primeval landscape, a world before civilisation. Today gardens are also a laboratory in which to observe the many and diverse networks in life and the connections between “symbiotic planets” (Lynn Margulis).

We are going through a phase in which human’s relationship with nature is being experienced and defined in a new way. Both arts and sciences have a role breaking new ground in the exploration of this theme, generating new ideas and highlighting new perspectives. Images and sounds, installations and environments can open up innovative perspectives about and in nature. Glenkeen Garden is intended to be a platform for artists in dialogue with scientists to develop projects in the context of ArtNature/NatureArt.

Glenkeen Garden on Roaringwater Bay is itself already a place where art and nature exist alongside and with one another. Half of the garden has been designed, the remainder left in its natural state (as one of the first wild gardening projects), and it provided the artist Ulrike Crespo with countless themes for her photographic work. The residency programme continues this examination of nature and allows a new generation of artists to explore and see the garden from different perspectives. Their works produce an artistic kaleidoscope in which Glenkeen Garden is reflected as a perfect representation of the relationship between people, art and nature.

About Glenkeen Garden

Glenkeen Garden is a 30-hectare estate in Roaringwater Bay in West Cork on the south coast of Ireland. Designed over a twenty-year period by the Foundation’s founder Ulrike Crespo and her partner Michael Satke, the estate has been turned into inspiring gardens. Glenkeen Garden was also an important place where the photographer and the Foundation’s founder Ulrike Crespo (1950-2019) drew inspiration and worked. Several of her photographic experiments and series originated here.

Artists such as Peter Kogler, Gunter Damisch, Arie van Selm, David Nash, Gregor Eichinger, Laura Ford and Ulrich Rückriem were invited by Ulrike Crespo and Michael Satke to provide further definition to the garden’s structure with their sculptures.  The central grass meadow was designed by Piet Oudolf, who also designed New York’s High Line. Several “stages”, specially designed viewpoints, invite people to linger in the garden and offer very special views of the landscape and beyond.

Not far from Glenkeen Garden are what are known as the “rough lands”, an untouched area also owned by the Crespo Foundation. This land has never been cultivated or farmed and was acquired by the founder Ulrike Crespo so that it could be kept in its natural state.

Scientific Partners

To provide the artistic project with scientific expertise and stimulate interdisciplinary exchange, the residency programme is supported by two partner institutions: the Senckenberg – Leibniz Institution for Biodiversity and Earth System Research (SGN) in Frankfurt am Main and the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork.

Founded over 200 years ago, the Senckenberg – Leibniz Institution for Biodiversity and Earth System Research (SGN) in Frankfurt am Main is one of the most important research institutes in the field of biological diversity, evolution and climate change. It is the body responsible for seven Senckenberg research institutes and three natural history museums, including the Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre in Frankfurt am Main, the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment in Tübingen, the Senckenberg German Entomological Institute in Müncheberg, and the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Frankfurt.

University College Cork offers courses in a variety of arts and science subjects and includes the School of Biological Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES). According to the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking, UCC is 8th on the list of the world’s most sustainable universities and contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals. UCC is also home to the Environmental Research Institute (ERI), which has over 400 researchers in 25 departments and six environmental research centres, and takes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing global sustainability challenges. Its goal is to generate new research knowledge to understand and protect the environment and develop technologies and political knowledge to facilitate the move to a sustainable society. The crucial role that the humanities and arts can play in this transition has been underestimated. The ERI therefore attaches great importance to collaborating with the Crespo Foundation to allow it to explore new approaches so that a more sustainable planet can be envisaged.

The local surroundings

Glenkeen Garden is a place of quiet and seclusion. Ballydehob (ca. a 15-minute drive away), Schull (ca. 20 minutes), Bantry (ca. 20 minutes) and Skibbereen (ca. 30 minutes) are nearby. Despite being small towns, they have rich arts and cultural scenes. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city and is around a two-hour journey by car or bus. It is home to important arts institutions and festivals, as well as the renowned University College Cork and its many research institutes.

Two houses with a total of five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two kitchens and four studios are available during the residency. The artists can move freely around the estate and use the garden as inspiration for their work.

Unfortunately, the paths in the garden and the houses are not wheelchair accessible. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about accessibility.

Application requirements

The stay at Glenkeen Garden during the residency programme is to be used to work on an artistic project about nature.
The programme is intended for visual artists (painting, drawing, installation, video, photography), composers/sound artists and writers. Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary work is particularly welcome.
Applications are only permitted as a group of at least two and a maximum of five people.
The competition is open to artists from Europe and Russia.
Residencies are only awarded to people aged between 30 and 45.
Students enrolled at universities and colleges cannot be included in the selection.
Groups of artists may apply whose works or publications have already given them a significant public profile.
The residency should be used for artistic production and should lead to a work of art or an elaborated artistic concept that is placed at the Foundation’s disposal for exhibitions, performances or publications.
The residency will last at least two and no more than three months.
The stay is linked to one of two residency phases (August to October 2022 and March to May 2023).
Glenkeen Garden’s secluded location means a car is necessary. This requires the driver to have an international driving licence with appropriate driving experience and a basic willingness to drive a car (on the left).
The presence of artists in Glenkeen Garden and its surrounding area during the period of the residency is required. Unfortunately, owing to the limited space available, relatives are unable to stay.
Good English is required for the purposes of communication.

Services provided by the Crespo Foundation

Free accommodation (bedroom and bathroom) on site in one of the two guesthouses and a space in which to work. The programme participants share the kitchens in the guesthouses.
Monthly remuneration of € 2,500 per person is paid by the Crespo Foundation. This covers the costs of materials and supplies.
Travel costs for the journey to and from Glenkeen Garden only will be paid.
It is the Foundation’s express wish that work that is started or completed during the residency is exhibited, performed or published by/with the Crespo Foundation in Frankfurt am Main and internationally.
A Crespo Foundation employee is on site for coordination purposes and as a point of contact at specified hours.
The Crespo Foundation provides a car that can be shared and three bicycles.
It is possible to gain access to the Crespo Foundation’s artist and scientist contacts and to arts institutions and research institutes, and to involve them during the work process. Where applicable, plans can also be made for collaboration on site.
Depending on the artists’ interests and areas of emphasis, the Crespo Foundation also plans to run a supporting programme during which scientists and cultural professionals will be invited to provide inspiration on content, on site or virtually, and be available for discussions.
The Foundation holds a dinner once or twice a week for the residents to share ideas with one another and, should the occasion arise, with guests.

Application process

Please send the following documents to residency (at) by 30 January 2022:

artist CV
list of exhibitions/publications/performances
presentation of three selected works (each a maximum of 1 DIN A4 page)
cover letter for the residency at Glenkeen Garden outlining your questions/interests, why you would like to work on these at Glenkeen Garden, how you would like to explore the topic of nature, and how artistic collaboration should be developed in a team.
details about your desired period of stay of at least two to a maximum of three months – multiple responses possible

Selection process

Participants are selected by a jury that includes external experts.
There is no legal claim to participation in the residency programme. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed of this in writing without reasons being given.
The artists selected for both project phases (August to October 2022 and March to May 2023) will be announced at the end of March.
The artists selected by the expert jury will then receive an artist contract. Signing this contract means that participation in the residency is effective in law.

If you have any questions, please contact

Friederike Weidner
Phone: +49 (0)69 – 27 10 795-27
friederike.weidner (at)

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