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Our Stories – A series of artworks by John Conway inspired by staff working at the Children Health Ireland hospitals

Date posted: 16 January 2021

Image shown: Lori Ekstrom from Genetics and Oral Ryan Flanagan from Occ Therapy, CHI at Crumlin: Launch of Our Stories - artworks by John Conway inspired by staff working at the Children Health Ireland hospitals.

Our Stories is a series of artworks by John Conway inspired by the artist’s conversations with staff of Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) at Crumlin, Tallaght and Temple Street in 2019. Staff reflected on their workplaces and the role art plays in normalising the space for children.

In 2019, the CHI Arts in Health programme began working with the CHI Organisational Development Team to consider how to create a space for staff to celebrate the existing hospitals and their unique cultures before the move to the new children’s hospital. John Conway was invited to meet with the staff in an informal way and these conversations inspired ‘Our Stories’, a series of nine risographic printed artworks.

A full set of these works now hang in each CHI hospital and in Connolly Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre. This series of artworks is a celebration of the stories and perspectives of CHI staff in relation to their workplace, and the role art can play within it. It is hoped that they will inspire new conversations and memories, as we move forward together to the new children’s hospital.

The arts in all its forms provide a colourful and engaging platform for people to come together and this is particularly relevant for Children’s Health Ireland as we move from being three long established children’s hospitals to merge into one. It is a delight to see the words of our staff become the inspiration for such beautiful works by John Conway and I congratulate everyone who worked hard to make this happen.’ – Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive of CHI

Artists often have the unique privilege of being able to visit interesting and complicated spaces; observing and taking the pulse. I was very much welcomed by all the CHI staff I met through this project. They gave me an insight into working cultures across the different CHI sites. I got an understanding of what art does at the coal face in an acute health setting. The way art works for staff and children can be very different to how artists might expect.’ – John Conway

Check out this video to learn more about the project and artworks:
vimeo.com/500006890/dfffc9b0af

The project was funded by Children’s Health Ireland and Dublin City Council Culture Company’s Engage The City programme.

John Conway
John is a visual artist working extensively in community, youth and health settings. He uses a multi-disciplinary approach to respond to environments and the lived experience of communities. He is the director and curator of Other People’s Practices, a long-term artist research residency programme which takes place in the National Forensic Mental Health Service. He is also Creative Director of the award-winning Kildare Young Filmmakers.
www.johnconway.ie

About CHI
Children’s Health Ireland was established in 2019 as a statutory entity to govern and manage acute paediatric services for the greater Dublin area, as well as all national paediatric services. This saw the children’s hospitals at Temple Street, Tallaght and Crumlin merge into CHI to deliver healthcare to Ireland’s children, in preparation for the move into the new children’s hospital. www.newchildrenshospital.ie

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