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Arts & HealthHere to support and inspire the
arts & health sectors through Covid-19

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A view from within: An Arts in Health project for hospital staff during Covid-19
by Claire Flahavan

Claire Flahavan works as an art therapist in St Louise’s Unit at Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) Crumlin. St Louise’s Unit provides an assessment and therapy service for young people who have experienced sexual abuse or sexual assault. Here, Claire reflects on her experience of Sidestep, an Arts in Health project for staff within the Unit at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sidestep was facilitated by artist Emma Finucane, who has been collaborating with the Unit to mark the future transition of the service to a new location within CHI at Tallaght. The project culminated in the publication of a book.

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Threshold: James Turrell's ‘Sky Garden’ at Liss Ard Estate. Image credit: Claire Flahavan.

Teen Spirit: Music adventures in the lockdown era
by Davina Flaherty

Davina Flaherty is a 15 year old singer-songwriter and musician from Galway. A member of CanTeen Ireland, the national young people’s cancer support group, Davina has been taking part in an online music project since summer 2020 led by musicians Seán Carpio and Ríona Sally Hartman. She discusses her passion for music, becoming a reluctant convert to virtual collaboration and the good chaos involved in the creative process.

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Image shown: Davina Flaherty, centre, with Ash Cahill and Mariosa Grace-Churchard at a CanTeen Ireland and Helium Arts music workshop, 2020.

Time to Unite and Take Action: Managing an Arts and Health Programme during COVID-19
by Justine Foster

Justine Foster manages the Arts for Health Partnership Programme in West Cork, an arts programme for older people in healthcare settings. She looks back on spring 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic uprooted the programme’s long-held infrastructure and new pathways were needed to connect with participants and to support relationships with artists and healthcare partners.

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Image shown: Justine Foster.

My Art and M.E.: The Demands of a Creative Mind
by Corina Duyn

Artist and puppet designer Corina Duyn has been exploring the internal landscape of illness in her work since she was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) in 1998. Corina reflects on how her art making has evolved and new avenues of discovery have opened up as she challenges the limitations of the body with the demands of a creative mind.

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Image shown: Paper-me by Corina Duyn: Paper puppet used in my shadow puppetry images.

Your Collection: The Arts Council Collection in Healthcare Settings
by Ben Mulligan and Ann O'Connor

There are more than 180 artworks from the Arts Council Collection currently on display in 14 healthcare settings across the Republic of Ireland. Ben Mulligan and Ann O'Connor from the Arts Council provide insights into the lending and selection process, and the impact this artwork can have on healthcare communities.

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Timothy Booth, Cross Section from a Rudge, 1969. Mixed media, 110 x 80cm. Collection of the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. Currently on display at MISA, St James's Hospital.


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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