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That’s Life shine their light in the time of corona

Date posted: 26 April 2020

Image shown: That's Life, Shine your Light installation.

That’s Life is an arts and personal development programme at the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway. People with intellectual disability have opportunities to discover and realise their artistic potential through working with established artists and engaging in a wide range of arts programmes in music, physical theatre and visual arts. ​That’s Life art makers contribute to the cultural and artistic life of their community through the beautiful work they exhibit and perform.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, That’s Life have released a ‘Wash Your Hands’ music video to get across health messaging in a playful way and created a moving Shine Your Light installation which was projected on Kilcornan House to honour those affected by Covid-19. Claude Madec, Director of That’s Life, shares the impetus behind this work.

Wash Your Hands
This music video was created in an effort to deliver the message of hand hygiene, social distancing and sneezing and coughing etiquette in a playful and creative way.

As the information being disseminated through our services for adults and children with intellectual disabilities was mainly of print outs and illustrations demonstrating these new safety guidelines, we felt we had the creativity and resources to package this information in a way that would be more compelling for the people we support.

Following conversations with several colleagues at the Brothers of Charity Services Galway we decided that producing a music video was the way to go, that we would duplicate it on DVDs for internal use and put it online for general release as we felt many more organisations would find it to be a lasting and useful resource.

The brief was straight forward: To catch people’s attention and to deliver a strong health message with clarity.

We brought together three members of That’s Life creative team: Andrew Madec, our music coordinator, Miguel Barcelo our longtime collaborator and physical theatre practitioner, and Alison McDonnell-White, our video creator.

The message had to be accessible and consistent with other materials provided by the HSE. From our creative experience we knew that music, mime and humour together could go a long way to convey a strong message. The video is simple, accessible, clear, repetitive, visually engaging, fun, catchy, and of course consistent with the message we hear in the media or see on display.

Making art in order to support people to engage with a specific health message is a first for That’s Life; a departure that has given us much to think about. It’s a humble contribution and our hope is that it will have contributed to making a difference and keeping people safe and healthy.

Shine Your Light
Shine Your Light was an opportunity for That’s Life to honour and offer our support to those affected by Covid-19; those suffering from the virus, people finding confinement difficult, frontline health workers and all who in so many ways make life easier for others in this difficult time.

We wanted our light display to be as beautiful, as large, as creative and as inclusive as possible despite our limited resources and the restrictions in place.

The light installation took place on the entire main entrance of Kilcornan House in Clarinbrige, County Galway. No longer an institution, it is today the head office of the Brothers of Charity Services Ireland and a place in full transformation with stunning grounds, gardens and walks, and many other exciting initiatives open to the public.

The installation featured a live interactive projection That’s Life has been developing for some time and video clips from a documentary filmed in Kilcornan Gardens where art makers with ID model their junk couture designs.

The projection opens with a playful dance of abstract visuals and colours on the period house before blending and transforming its architectural features with dreamy moving scenes and portraiture of That’s Life art makers to bring light and warmth to our hearts and to give us hope as we wait for brighter times.

When the time has come and we can gather again, That’s Life team of art makers will invite friends and the public to Kilcornan for a new live projection to celebrate again the light we will have shared and will continue to share with each other.

www.thatslife.ie

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