My Weekend: Showcasing my work at one of the first summer festivals...

A visual artist from Cork, Aoife Banville tells us how she spends her weekends
My Weekend: Showcasing my work at one of the first summer festivals...

Aoife Banville, a Visual Artist, who will be appearing at Ballymaloe May Fair from May 12 to 14.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Aoife and I’m a visual artist based in East Cork. I make many things, from bespoke chandeliers to lamps made from nautical charts, to sculptural site-specific installations, often repurposing, recycling, and reusing various materials and transforming them into artworks.

A common thread to my work is that I often use materials that interact with light, and I usually suspend my creations, as I am really interested in artworks that fill the aerial space. One of my most recent public art projects is called the ‘Circle of Light’ which is suspended over the River Dissour in Killeagh.

I’m very excited to be one of the many artists from across the country showcasing at the upcoming Ballymaloe May Fair, which runs at the beautiful grounds of Ballymaloe from May 12 to 14. 

Among the first of the summer festivals, it aims to provide an interesting, diverse and fun-filled experience for family and friends. I’ll be teaching Kokedama workshops (Japanese Moss Balls) and I’m really looking forward to meeting people there.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

A dinner with friends.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Up with the lark, the mornings are always my most productive time.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Often, I may be working at markets, installing artworks for festivals, or dressing spaces for events.

If money was no object, where would you head to on a weekend city break? And who would you bring with you?

Mexico City is the top of my list to go to. I would love to do an artist residency in Mexico city.

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I love being in nature and luckily I’m surrounded by both beaches and woodlands so I have a great array of options. Spending time outdoors definitely helps me think through ideas and work through projects.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

Yes, I often go home to Wexford to see my family and when I’m in East Cork I like to go to Inch beach and have a swim and sauna with buddies.

One of Aoife Banville's most recent public art projects is called the 'Circle of Light' which is suspended over the River Dissour in Killeagh.
One of Aoife Banville's most recent public art projects is called the 'Circle of Light' which is suspended over the River Dissour in Killeagh.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I love my weekly yoga class with Grainne Ferreira of Dandelion Yoga, she’s an amazing teacher.

I try to go swimming in the sea as much as I can, and if I get to Awesome Walls indoor rock climbing wall in Cork I’m delighted!

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

Both. I love sharing food with friends and family. A Goan fish curry would be one of my go-to dishes.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork — where are your go to spots for coffee/ lunch/ special meal?

If I’m in the city I really like the Good Day Deli in Nano Nagle Place, a beautiful space in a gorgeous location. Goldie is another favourite. Closer to home, Sage in Midleton is always a delight and French Beans coffee van in Rostellan makes great coffee.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

I like to chill out and watch a good film. And make my plan for the week ahead and whatever project I’m working on.

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

7am... Here we go.

Anything else you are up to right now...

I’m very excited to be a pilot member of the new Mor Artist Collective, connecting professional creatives in the rural East Cork and West Waterford area. A group show opened in Greywood Arts in Killeagh on April 29.

I have also been working with the 6th class pupils of St Fergals in Killeagh on a papier-mâché project that will be part of the Art Trail in Glenbower Woods for the May Sunday Festival running from April 29 to May 14.

You’ll find out more about my work on my website,

More about the Ballymaloe May Fair:

A weekend of activities for the whole family lies ahead at Ballymaloe. Cooking demonstrations, workshops, tours and talks, music, theatre, fashion and children’s activities are just some of the attractions on offer at the event, which takes place from May 12 to 14.

The weekend will be jam packed with activity from classes in yoga and sound baths to the exciting Afro-Brazilian dance form, Capoeira. There will be fashion upcycling workshops as well as workshops making candles, brass wreaths and sustainable cleaning products.

The festival will also see a lineup of talks and walks on sustainability, local history, and long forgotten expertise about the Irish landscape and wildlife.

Among the attractions is a Forgotten Skills Area with live demonstrations on wood carving, iron forging, jewellery-making and more.

The best of Irish cuisine will be there too, as reputable Irish chefs from around the country will perform live cookery demonstrations all weekend.

The May Fair will also be home to top class music and theatre.

For more information on Ballymaloe May Fair and to book tickets, visit

The festival runs on Friday from 5pm to 10pm, on Saturday from 10am until late, and from 10am to 5pm Sunday. Children under 12 go free.

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