Saolta Arts, formerly Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust, was officially launched on 6 August 2019 by Mrs Sabina Higgins at University Hospital Galway. Offset, an intergenerational printmaking exhibition, was also launched at the hospital on the day.
The original arts programme was established in Galway University Hospitals (University Hospital Galway and Merlin Park University Hospital) in 2003 to provide arts events and activities for the hospital community. Saolta Arts is the new name for the arts programme which has been extended to include the other hospitals in the Saolta Group – Roscommon, Portiuncula, Mayo, Sligo and Letterkenny University Hospitals.
Saolta Arts works with leading artists and international arts festivals to bring high-quality arts experiences to the hospital community. The multi-disciplinary programme includes exhibitions, participative workshops, music, theatre and poetry making across the hospitals. The participatory arts programme allows people of all ages to explore their creative potential. For patients, this can be the important reintroduction of choice and can help them to re-evaluate their abilities in the face of change. Participants find a more positive, productive use of their time in hospital, engaged in a way that distracts from worries and “makes time fly”.
Offset, celebrating exchange between the ages and wards of Galway University Hospitals, will run until 15 September at UHG. The project was developed through participatory workshops with patients.
‘The theme of place, its identity, and the sense of belonging and rootedness with which it provides us is something that the President and I return to frequently at events and in our addresses. It is one of the most fundamental human needs, and something with which we Irish have a deep resonance for a variety of reasons, including cultural and historical. The Offset exhibition being launched today is truly a celebration of some of the insights and contributions that both our youngest and oldest generations make to society.’ – Mrs Sabina Higgins