Crowds making their up from the pier on Sunday afternoon on Sherkin Island with the Irish Lights vesslet Granuaile in the background. Pic: Ginny Pavry

SHERKIN Island was buzzing last weekend as more than 1,000 visitors from all over West Cork came to view the artwork of the 19 students due to graduate this year from the local BA Visual Art course.

Bernadette Burns, the BAVA programme chair, said that the exhibition, which took place on the pier, in the Abbey, in businesses, ruins, fields and homes around the island was a testament to the openness and generosity of the Sherkin community.

Visitors to the Abbey viewing artworks by Donagh Carey. Pic: Ginny Pavry

The programme is delivered by DIT in partnership with Sherkin Island Development Society and West Cork Arts Centre.

Visitors were impressed with the diversity of work that included drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, video work and site-specific installation work.

Darragh Taaffe, of the Jolly Roger Bar said the businesses on the Island were delighted to host some of the student exhibitions, “It is great to be able to give something back to these students by way of supplying a venue for their exhibition. There are enormous social and economic benefits, and Sherkin Island would be a very different place without all of the activity that comes with this programme.”

Island business’ including the Islander’s Rest, Jolly Roger and Sherkin Island Ferry all offered special deals to attract visitors to the island to view the artworks and to show their continued support for the BAVA programme.

West Cork Arts Centre will host the work of the graduating students for two weeks from June 2nd next.

In August, in a fundraising initiative, the students will organise a pop up gallery and sell paintings, drawings and prints for €60 a piece.

They will also hold a postcard exhibition and sale as part of Skibbereen Arts Week.