Chronic Connections: Networking for sick and disabled artists

28 Sep 2023

Pink and Orange soft gradient background with two big pink and orange squiggles. Text reads: ‘Chronic Connections: Networking programme for sick and disabled artists with Chronic Collective’ and ‘Fire Station Artists Studios’

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Fire Station Artists’ Studios are collaborating with Chronic Collective for Chronic Connections: a series of networking and mentoring events for sick and disabled artists.

Disabled and chronically ill artists often cannot network in the same way as their peers, this programme tries to bridge the gap and invites curators and programmers to have a conversation with disabled and chronically ill artists about their work.

This programme involves two events, the first is a ‘speed curating’ networking event  (artists will have 15 minutes with each of our curators to introduce themselves and their practice) and the second event will be a one-to-one studio visit or meeting with a selected curator. 

After the initial networking event, the artists will share feedback on the networking event and will be matched with the most suitable curator for their needs. The artists will then be able to avail of one scheduled studio visit/meeting as part of this programme, with the curator they are matched with.

Throughout the programme, Chronic Collective and FSAS will be checking in and available for support and advice.

This programme aims to build capacity for sick and disabled artists to enable dialogue and networking opportunities with curators invested in inclusive practices.

Chronic Collective and FSAS have gathered a panel of nationally recognised curators who have a close interest and practice in inclusion and access to participate in Chronic Connections Network Programme with up to 8 visual artists with disabilities/chronic illnesses in 2023. 

The 2023 Networking Programme curators are:

  • Lisa Crowne
  • Michael Hill
  • Sara Muthi 
  • Roisín Power Hackett

What is speed curating?

You will meet with each of the four curators for 15 mins each. It is a fast-paced but relaxed environment. Don’t worry we will have lots of breaks! You can share examples of your work from your online portfolio, website, Instagram, or printed files. You can also simply chat about your practice. We will have a spare laptop and iPad available. We can also print files/images prior to the event. To make the best use of your time, please have the files or web pages ready so you can share during your meeting. 

The speed curating meetings are usually an initial introduction between the artist and curator, but also can be useful to reconnect with someone if you have made new work. The curator will also introduce themselves and what they do. A meeting like this can be a way to build a more long-term relationship with the curator. It can sometimes take several years between an initial meeting and an exhibition opportunity. 

What is a studio visit?

The purpose of the studio visit/meeting is for artists and curators to have a conversation about the artist’s work and discuss areas of the artist’s practice. This first conversation could lead to building a relationship over time.

Studio visits are meetings between artists and curators that are focused on the artist’s practice, their work and interests.

In the studio visit the conversation may address themes of the artist’s work, works in progress, ideas around potential exhibition opportunities, audiences for future work, introducing references by other artists, professional development opportunities and critical responses.

This can happen at the artist’s studio, online or in a meeting room. In advance the curator will research the artist and the artist will choose what artworks they’d like to show the curator and be prepared to discuss their work more in detail. All of this preparation is a starting point for a conversation.

What to expect from the Networking Programme?

Each of the successful artists will participate in a speed curating event with the four curators of the panel on 28 September (2-5pm) and a studio visit/meeting with one of the curators on our panel between October and December 2023. Successful artists will receive a fee of €200. Curators will also receive a fee. After the programme is complete, each artist and curator will submit a one-page report /3min video or audio file on their experience of the networking programme. 

Who is eligible to apply?

Visual artists at all stages of their careers are welcome to apply.

To be eligible you must be:

  • a visual artist who is disabled, D/deaf, chronically ill and/or neurodiverse
  • a practicing artist
  • living in the Republic of Ireland
  • over 18 years of age

Application Process

Artists are asked to submit an application email to with the following information:

  • A one-page letter of interest or a 3 minute video/sound file explaining why you would benefit from the Networking programme: max 500 words (.doc or .pdf)
  • CV: max 2 pages (.doc or .pdf)
  • Examples of previous work: max 10 images/works (.jpg, .wav, .mp3, .mp4, .pdf, .doc)
  • If you have any access requirements to participate in the Chronic Connections please outline these in your email.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, 12 September at 5pm. Please email us if you have any questions about your application!


All events and workshops seek to care for participants by asking that folks wear high quality masks and by providing ventilation, HEPA filter, comfortable seating, snacks and water.  

There will be options available for artists to take part virtually, either partly or for the whole programme, if required. 

The networking event will take place at Fire Station Artists’ Studios in Dublin 1. This is an indoor/outdoor space. The space is step free. There is a small door lip at two entrance doors to the space. Lighting is adjustable. A section of the courtyard entrance way has cobblestones. There is a spacious toilet with safety handles in the event space with a standard width door. Images and measurements of the building and event space can be sent to enquiring applicants. 

These are relaxed spaces and you can come and go as you please, make noise, stand and move around! 

We have a limited amount of access funding available to provide things like transport costs, masks, captioning and printing. We will communicate with all selected artists and curators about their access needs and do our best to meet them.

We are aware that many people are working with limited energy so we are open to flexibility in the running of this programme. 

About Chronic Collective

Chronic Collective is a multidisciplinary art collective with a strong focus on accessibility in the arts.

The collective is run by two queer and chronically ill artists, Tara Carroll and Áine O’Hara. They work to create spaces, events and opportunities for sick and disabled artists and audiences to engage in art and culture in Ireland as well as working alongside cultural organisations and venues to improve their physical and structural barriers.

They have been funded by the arts council and have worked with venues and organisations like Pallas Projects, A4 Sounds Studios, Project Arts Centre and the Museum of Everyone.

Image description: Pink and Orange soft gradient background with two big pink and orange squiggles. Text reads: ‘Chronic Connections’

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Dates: 28 Sep 2023

Places: 8

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