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Helium’s Cloudands Project running in Temple Street and Cork University Hospital

Date posted: 13 January 2015

Image shown: Story Doll from Cloudlands Year 2 setting out on her journey

Helium’s Cloudlands project connects artists and teenagers living with chronic illnesses through collaborative projects and is entering its final year in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital and Cork University Hospital. This year, the artists have developed two distinct projects which have grown out of work which developed over the previous two years. Eszter Némethi, Cork University Hospital, will work with a group of young collaborators to develop a radio play and a series of digital interventions which will alter the hospital environment. Rachel Tynan, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, will work with Mark Linnane and Fionnuala Conway to develop her Sound Dolls, giant Russian Dolls designed in collaboration with participants and containing their stories.

Eszter will be mentored by Tom Swift of The Performance Corporation with support from technologist, Mark Linnane and Rachel will be mentored by Katy Fitzpatrick. Mentorship and artist support are key components of Cloudlands. Artists take part in weekly mentorship sessions and in development days which give them time to step away from the hospital and further reflect on their ideas. For Helium, it’s important that the work is genuinely collaborative and as such, it’s vital that the artists have time to reflect and to respond. Artists have one studio day for each day in the hospital to support this.

Another important aspect of the project is engagement with staff and, as well as the strong working relationships built by the artists on the ground, each year, Helium organises Creative Exchange days which encourage cross sectoral dialogue between hospital staff and artists and help the company to ensure that the project is responsive to the needs of both participants and the hospitals.

Helium was delighted to have been granted the documentation bursary for Cloudlands through artsandhealth.ie and filmmaker Siobhan Perry is currently putting the finishing touches to project. Everyone at Helium is looking forward to sharing an insight into Cloudlands and the impact it has had on the participants.

In the final year, Helium is exploring Cloudlands legacy with a view to developing a sustainable framework for the continuation of the work with teenagers in hospital. You can see work created over the first two years of the project at the Cloudlands Online Gallery

Cloudlands is funded by the Arts Council. Cloudlands Dublin is funded by BNP Paribas Foundation through the Smart Start Programme and Dublin City Council. Clouldlands Cork is funded by Cork City Council and HSE South. The Cloudlands documentary is funded through an artsandhealth.ie documentation bursary award funded by the Arts Council and the Cork Arts and Health Programme, HSE South.

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