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Arts & Health

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Spectacular Body
by Professor Anna Furse

Professor Anna Furse, theatre maker and practising academic, reflects on the personal circumstances that have led to a series of projects interrogating the ‘medical gaze’ and how the body, particularly the woman’s body, becomes spectacular through this gaze.

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Image shown: 'Anna Furse Performs an Anatomy Act: a show and tell.' Photo credit: Nina Klaff.

The Arts: my instrument for living with depression
by Carol Tobin

After many years of living with depression, Carol Tobin was introduced to Arts + Minds, a HSE arts and mental health programme based in Cork. Here she talks about her recovery journey and the impact that participating in the arts has had on her life.

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Image shown: Carol performing with The Leeside Serotones. Photo credit: Gerard McCarthy.

Lines of Escape
by Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly

Visual artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly discuss the inspiration behind their recently completed artwork Run River Run for the new 75 bed ward at University Hospital Galway and how the initial challenges of a collaborative approach to creating public artworks led to rewarding avenues of exploration.

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Image shown: 'Meander', Run River Run

Whose Move? Body Politics and Health Equality: Positioning Arts Practice in Contested Territories
by Siobhán Clancy

Socially engaged artist Siobhán Clancy has been producing collaborative work in and outside of healthcare settings for nearly a decade. For Siobhán, the priorities of health equality are compatible with the strategic objectives and aspirations of arts and health work. Yet she has discovered that when engaging with marginalized experiences and excluded constituents, artists sometimes find themselves outside the current framework of arts and health practice.

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Image shown: Siobhán Clancy

The Value of Collaboration: Reflections on the implementation of the Per Cent for Art Scheme in a community nursing unit
by Bernie Austin

Healthcare manager Bernie Austin reflects on the unexpected benefits of a collaborative approach to commissioning artworks within a community nursing unit.

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Image shown: Bernie Austin


This section presents opinion on aspects of arts and health practice from a range of perspectives including health service users, artists, healthcare professionals and researchers. It aims to tease out the often contradictory complexities of arts and health work and contextualise these within wider debates. It also includes personal reflections on arts and health. The opinions contained here are the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of artsandhealth.ie.



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