In-conversation with Frank O’Connor & Jude Sherry

Friday 8th, 13.00

Register Online, Admission Free (Walk-ins welcome)


In-conversation with the artists of host/ghost

Saturday 9th, 13.00

Register Online, Admission Free (Walk-ins welcome)

host/ghost presents an exhibition of works by four emerging Cork-based artists engaging with the increasing culture of neglect and dereliction in our urban spaces. Taking place at St. Peter’s Cork, a former church now used as an arts venue, host/ghost will highlight the potential meanwhile-use of such spaces as short-term hosts for artistic purposes.

host/ghost will also present in-conversation segments with the exhibiting artists, who will be invited to discuss the themes explored in their work, as well as local activists Frank O’Connor and Jude Sherry, Directors of the design agency anoisand organisers of the Walking Tour to End Dereliction in Cork and Dublin.



Melanie McGrath is a student of Fine Art at MTU’s Crawford College of Art and Design. Within her current practice Mel looks at the urban space, and the different cultures within, reading the marks left behind in the city as a palimpsest and bringing this mark making into her own work. This is her first exhibition.

Benjamin Walsh is a freelance Video Editor and Camera Operator. Having studied Advanced Film and Television Production at St. John’s Central College, Cork, he has since worked on a number of short and feature length films working in the Camera and Editorial Departments. This is his first exhibition of artistic works.



Emma Price is a fantasy enthusiast and a firm believer in science. Emma likes to see things in a more ethereal form with underlying elements of something sinister, with vanity also always unfortunately getting a say in things; she likes works to be fashion forward and visually captivating.

The visual works of Emma Price are accompanied by a sound piece created by Joe O'Neill.




Lily O’Shea is an artist and writer based in Cork concerned with political questions surrounding the contemporary labourer. Lily’s work utilises performance, sculpture, and text to expand on the materiality of precarity while foregrounding various anxieties endured by the modern-day worker. Recent work explores the issue of sustaining an art practice while experiencing burn out, the effects of hyper-productivity and its ability to drain one’s creative resources. Lily’s research draws from reality TV, mailing lists, fiction and unfinished artworks to explore potential strategies against burnout.






Melanie McGrath (b. 2001)

What Once Was (2022)

Ink on Paper

What Once Was comprises a triptych of screen prints. While researching in Cork city one finds continual development and change - but still there is a major problem of dereliction and abandonment within. I began by taking photographs of derelict buildings and features that appear on them - boarding, shutters, steel beams, etc. Graffiti is a common feature on these run-down structures, which to me adds colour and a sense of life to these abandoned properties. For What Once Was I took influence from a site of historic, neglected, buildings on North Main Street, Cork (Nos. 62, 63, 64, and 65), which are narrowly held up by steel beams. Nothing but the front of these buildings is left, the rest has collapsed and crumbled. These structures symbolise the blight of dereliction.

This printed triptych is exhibited side-by-side. Two layered images hang on either side of the central image, a single print of the neglected building. On the layered prints I started by printing an image of the graffiti seen at the bottom of the building. I depicted these in fluorescent pinks and oranges to represent the bright shades which can be seen in the graffiti painted on these buildings and synonymous with the bright colours of graffiti art in general. Layered on top of this is an image of the fragile remnants of the building. I chose to print this in a shade of blue to represent the stark coldness of dereliction within our city. A prominent white border frames these prints, suggestive of the isolation of these buildings and the negligence of dereliction in general.




Benjamin Walsh (b. 1994)

Where Can We Rent? (2022)

A series of film images on paper

Where Can We Rent? is a series of photographs captured on film in response to the open call disseminated online in search of submissions for 'host/ghost'. People of all demographics are suffering from the shortage of properties available to  rent at affordable prices. Captured during a short walk around Cork city, each of these images was  taken within 1.8KM of each other, barely scratching the surface of Cork. This is reflective of how much disused buildings there are in Cork city - on every city street there are derelict or vacant buildings, buildings desperately needed as homes and spaces for use.

Images captured on film are imbued with a sense of history and memory, of works captured in a bygone era, like relics of the past. The reality here however is that this is the state of Cork city in 2022. Captured and developed thereafter there is no trace of digital manipulation here, only the plain reality of a stark and pressing issue. These images now exist as physical documentation of the dereliction and neglect within Cork city.














Emma Price (b. 1997)

Realm (2022)

analog image, printed on bamboo paper

untitled 1 (2022)

analog image, printed on bamboo paper

untitled 2 (2022)

analog image, printed on bamboo paper


Realm (2022)

These works are representations of various environments and spaces that can feed into the thematics of 'host/ghost' in a more conceptual way. The images can generate various responses with the overall theme of 'host/ghost' in mind. Themes such as the effects of the housing crisis on individuals can be highlighted within the image containing a ghostly figure in a vast space of nothingness. This can highlight how a person may feel lost or alone, or that they simply do not have a place they can call home, forever wandering. For some they are wandering in a place that is completely unfamiliar. Mental health effects of the housing crisis can also be interrupted in this image, at first glance it is a lone figure which many may identify with but the colours and various glimpses of light contained within the image can represent feelings such as hope and hopelessness as the light can vanish.

untitled 1 (2022)

The work containing what appears to be houses surrounded by a shroud of darkness can represent what may seem impossible to attain for many living in Ireland. A long and dark path, seemingly never ending, leading to a place no longer in reach. The physicality of the work may also enhance these explorations. Once again a glimmer of light can be seen within this image, positioned at the end of the path it once again highlights how the happiness that may come with having a home seems too far out of reach, or how existing buildings can be neglected, become derelict, vanish and disappear.

untitled 2 (2022)

A recent work I constructed shows 5 identical images placed upon a black background. A more experimental image, playing with a 3D effect contained within due to the mirror reflection, it too can be interpreted as something more relevant to the themes of the exhibition. Once again a long dark figure is seen - with no identification it can allow a viewer to have their own interpretation as to who or what it may be. Keeping the themes of the exhibition in mind it can represent someone searching for something; the figure looks towards us as viewers, it may be confronting something or someone. The repetition of the image and the layout can represent different viewpoints, the figure may be confronting different things and the surrounding empty space. The absence of other figures might symbolise how an individual may feel during the turmoil of the housing crisis.







Lily O'Shea (b. 1997)

a plan of a plan (2022)


a plan of a plan is an unfinished artwork which is based on the structure of a staircase. It is accompanied by a text titled life in a project: a time of no time which explores the relationship between project work and precarity. The research process involved in this work focuses on the pressures surrounding creative pursuit and the issue of affording the time and space to maintain a sustainable art practice.



Frank O’Connor & Jude Sherry are the founders and directors of anois. anois is a leading global design agency creating value through design for sustainability & the circular economy, providing training and advisory services to policy-makers. Frank & Jude relocated to Cork in 2018 having previously lived and worked in Amsterdam and Cardiff. Since then they have documented over 400 derelict properties within a 2km radius of the city centre, posting them in a thread on their social media accounts under #DerelictIreland, garnering huge public support and significant media attention in the process. In 2021 they presented their findings to the Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage.


host/ghost is co-curated by Aoife Hayes & M. Glenn Dunlea

Aoife HayesAoife Hayes is an emerging curator moonlighting as a retail assistant from Co. Kerry and based in Cork city. Having completed her BA History of Art & French (UCC) with honours, she joined K-Fest Arts & Music Festival’s visual arts team in 2019.

My research is concerned with the state of precarity endured by contemporary practitioners of art and art workers. I explore this through a process-led practice and am especially interested in the protection and conservation of artist-led spaces.

Glenn Dunlea is a UCC alumni with a Joint Honours BAM. Glenn Dunlea in History of Art & English. From academic research into the lives and careers of forgotten female artists to Funny Girl, Glenn’s interests are as wide-ranging as they are eclectic and multifaceted.

I am a self-motivated, vivacious, and vibrant producer intent on platforming minority and emerging voices. I am driven by values of inclusion, equality, and diversity, and strive to combine an interdisciplinary education in professional arts practice with innovative and forward-thinking methods in arts organisations, locally and globally.







Department of Theatre

Roinn na hAmharclannaíochta

Muskerry Villas, Western Road, Cork City T12 AW97