Luke Murphy

Uillinn Dance Artist in Residence, West Cork 2021 & 2022

Since 2015 the Dance Artist in Residence Programme at Uillinn has enabled opportunities for the people of West Cork to have access to, and engagement with contemporary dance practice of excellence. (Tara Brandel 2015-16; Helga Deasy 2017-18; and Mairead Vaughan 2019-20).

Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre is delighted to welcome Luke Murphy as our Dance Artist in Residence for a second year. Luke is our fourth dance artist to be awarded this role, supported by the Arts Council and in partnership with Cork County Council

As I travel into the second year of my residency at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, the questions swirling around my head are to do with development and longevity. Starting a new adventure is always exciting, a shot of adrenaline where problems need solving and your imagination can go to work. It’s lovely and to some extent it's easy. Like the first week of a new process, lots of ideas come up and you don’t know enough to know what will have real impact and what won’t. As I entered my second year I had to (sadly) already start thinking about the end- what impact can my presence at West Cork Arts Centre have for contemporary dance in west cork, what impact can my time at West Cork Arts Centre have on my life creatively and personally, what can I assist in establishing that might develop the art form in this area and what has the potential to continue to grow?

Like the middle of a creative process, identifying the real questions you want to work with is 90% of the battle.

For 2022 the programme is settling into three clearly identifiable strands. The first is to develop more robust partnerships with neighbouring arts organisations and situate contemporary dance within those contexts. To this end we are delighted to work with Fastnet Film Festival to present an afternoon of dance films at the 2022 Fastnet Film Festival in May. Positioning contemporary dance within such a reputable, well attended and widely loved west cork arts event feels like a huge victory for widening the presence of contemporary dance in west cork. Furthermore, the development and presentation of a new work, performed outdoors on a floating raft at Skibbereen Arts Festival in July will take contemporary dance out of the gallery and place it right in the heart of the community. For both dedicated and unexpected audiences I’m very excited to make a work using the natural landscape as our set and invite intended and unintended audiences to join us this summer.

The second strand is to continue to open networks and build relationships between Uillinn and the wider and diverse community of dance makers around Ireland. One of Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre’s great strengths is not simply the facilities but the nurturing, generous and enthusiastic culture of support they create for artists to develop work inside. Skibbereen is a long way from Sligo, from Longford, from Dublin- it’s with great pleasure that we are supporting emerging choreographer Ghaliah Conroy to work at Uilinn with her collaborators for two weeks this summer and continuing to invest in Kevin Coquelards 2021 investigation into dance and Chamber Music with a second residency.

The final strand of the programme is the dance season. Once again building upon the 2021 focus of giving a West Cork access to the same work and artists as a Dublin audiences we are this year delighted to be connecting Uillinn audiences with both established household names within the Irish dance community such as John Scott, along with significant Cork artist Siobhan Ni Dhuninnin with her stunning collaboration with her father, traditional boat-builder Pádraig Ó Duinnín and finally fresh off its acclaimed NY premiere the first evening length work by Nigerian/Irish dance artist Mufutau Yussuf.

I look forward to an exciting and busy year of dance ahead at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre and as always am so very grateful to Ann, Justine, Louise, Stephen and the whole Uillinn family for their continued support of my practice. 

For audiences, the next part of Luke’s work with Uillinn is the premiere of his new film Written on Skin. Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, in partnership with King's College London commissioned choreographer and director Luke Murphy to create a dance film responding to, and inspired by, his 2019 gallery work Carnivore. This project was supported by an Arts Council Commission Award. The resulting collaboration between Murphy and filmmaker Pato Cassinoni explores the work of King's College's Renaissance Skin Project, and what touch, contact, and physical identity meant in a rapidly changing world.

Sunday 29th May at Fastnet Film Festival, the Satellite Centre in Schull | 3.00pm | Free

Written on Skin will be screened alongside a curated programme of dance film works including Cualquier Mañana by Laura Aris, Landfall by Kate Weare, The Devil by Oonagh Doherty, Wrongheaded by Liz Roche Company and On Mending by Shawn Fitzgerald Ahern.

Produced by Gwen Van Spiik
Created in collaboration with Cinematographer and Filmmaker Patricio Cassinoni
Performed by Lito Anastasopoulou, Knut Vikstrom Precht and Luke Murphy


Luke’s 2021 programme focused on four core strands: a performance platform, a partnership presentation programme, research commissions and studio research. As part of Luke’s Performance Platform which took place during Uilinn Dance Season we welcomed guest artists including Liz Roche Company, Deirdre Griffin, Fearghus OConchuir and Isobella Oberlander .

As part of Uillinn Dance Season 2021, Luke curated and presented a Dance Film Programme with live screening of Dance Film shorts, includes work from his own dance company Attic Projects, along with films by Irish artists Junk Ensemble and Orla McCarthy, and international artists Kelly Ashton Todd, German Jauregui and Laura Aris. A discussion following the screening invited the audience to consider the changing relationship between audience and performer given the societal changes experienced.

In addition to the development of his own work in studio, Luke commissioned dance artists Kevin Coquelard to take part in a dance research residency at Uillinn 14 to 25 June 2021. In collaboration with West Cork Chamber Music Festival Kevin to explore the relationship between music and dance. Kevin chose to work with musicians, Kate Ellis and Caihim Gilmore and in this conversation with Luke, Kevin unpicks the process that took place and explores future possibilities.

 ‘As an artist with a deeply rooted connection to both Cork city and county it has been a consistent part of my practice to consider the needs and habits of local audiences. Working in a form based in abstraction, without a long history nationally, I believe that working to build audiences and increase exposure to contemporary dance, beyond the metropolitan centre and the core national festival programmes throughout the country, is crucial to the development of vibrant ecology for dance to develop and flourish nationally.’ Luke Murphy


Originally from Cork City, Luke is a performer / writer / director and choreographer working across various mediums in Europe, the UK and USA. Luke is the producer and programming director of The Catch8 Workshop Series in Cork City. He trained at Point Park University where he earned his BFA in Dance and English in 2009 and University of Chichester where he earned an MA in Choreography in 2017.

Luke founded Attic Projects in 2014 as an umbrella for his various independent projects in dance, film and theatre. Luke’s work has been supported by various commissions, awards and residencies internationally including the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon; Cork City Council; Culture Ireland; New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project; Kaatsbaan International Dance Centre; Pavilion Theatre; Tyrone Guthrie Centre; Irish Arts Centre; Foundation for Contemporary Arts; Dance Limerick; Dance Base: Scotland’s National Theatre for Dance; Tribeca Performing Arts Centre, New York; Dance Now Silo New York; Tanz Tendendz, Munich; b12 Berlin and others. He has created and performed ten dance performance works throughout Ireland, Germany, UK and USA including several that have featured at Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre - Your Own Man / Mad Notions (2015); On Triumph and Trauma (2016); The Dust We Raised (2017); The Milkyboy Kid (2018) and most recently Carnivore, which was developed during a Production Residency at Uillinn 13 to 24 May with performances at Uillinn on 24 & 25 May 2019.


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of the Arts Council and Cork County Council in making these residencies possible.

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