The Garden Studio

Butler Gallery is very pleased to launch The Garden Studio, a redevelopment of a former latrine set in the gardens of Butler Gallery on the Evans’ Home site.

The redevelopment provides Butler Gallery with additional space to augment its Learning and Public Engagement Programme. One of the key activities will be to use the space to facilitate the implementation of biodiversity themed youth projects connecting arts practice and the use of sustainable materials. The Garden Studio is situated close to the existing dedicated Learning Centre and offers an ideal opportunity to utilise a formerly dormant space with the existing blueprint of the site for the benefit of artists and the community. Designed by Kilkenny’s Damien and Emily-Ann Curry of CANICE Architects, this development provides a workshop space in a timber framed pod structure placed inside the existing stone walls. The existing structure has been converted with the utmost sensitivity to the age of the site and within conservation parameters. An example of this is the innovative triangular lantern style roof light, which is in homage to the monastic heritage of the site, as St John’s Priory was known as the “Lantern of Ireland” due to the number and size of its stained-glass windows.

The Soil Project, is an annual commission at Butler Gallery which supports invited artists to create participatory projects which connect deeply with the environment, the world around us and the soil beneath our feet. Artist Joanna Hopkins is the recipient of the Soil Project residency for 2024 and has been working in the space for the past month. On view for the opening will be Joanna’s project that examines plants and soil found onsite today, researching the multi-layered history of gardens recorded here, from Infirmary Gardens, to Burgess plots, to Kilkenny County Council.

The Garden Studio development was co-funded by the Kilkenny LEADER Partnership with the Rural Development Fund 2014-2020 along with the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media and Community Finance Ireland.

Animation of design by CANICE Architects.

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