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This section hosts a variety of audio recordings produced for and by the arts and health community.

The Arts & Ageing Podcast

11 November 2021

What Next? tells the story of four artists who worked with older people on a project that broke the mould. Their stories are told through the Arts and Ageing Podcast series.

Produced by journalist Ellie O’Byrne, the podcast includes the following episodes:

  • Local Know-How with Colette Lewis (two-parter): Working with SIRIUS in Cobh, visual artist Colette Lewis brought together a new community of locals through her ‘Local Know-How’ project to share sustainable methods of living that are now in danger of being lost. She collaborated with Cobh resident Kevin Jones to revive knitting techniques used by fishermen to make and mend their own fishing nets.
  • Cultural Lore with Marie Brett (two-parter): Visual artist Marie Brett worked with Cork Midsummer Festival on a project called Cultural Lore – the idea was that knowledge can be lost from our collective consciousness as technological advances replace more traditional manual methods.
  • The Wings to Fly with Helga Deasy and Susan McManamon (three episodes): Dancer and choreographer Helga Deasy and musician and choir leader Susan McManamon worked with MusicAlive on two artist residencies at Nazareth House, a nursing home in Mallow, and at Mayfield Men’s Shed.
  • The concluding episode, released on 21 November 2021, will feature a critical reflection by Ellie. 

What Next? is an outcome of Creative Enquiry – Arts and Older People, a project that creatively explored fresh approaches to arts engagement with older people in 2019, initiated by Cork City Council and funded by The Arts Council Invitation to Collaboration Scheme.


Dealing In The Reality: Other People’s Practices

29 August 2021

Dealing In The Reality is a panel talk exploring Other People’s Practices (OPP), an artist residency and research programme with the National Forensic Mental Health Service. This online talk was recorded as part of Check Up Check In 2020, an initiative of artsandhealth.ie / Waterford Healing Arts Trust, in partnership with Create and Fingal County Council Arts Office. The talk was chaired by Dr Sheelagh Broderick and features OPP’s Director and Curator John Conway, Nurse Manager Ann Dunmurray, and Fingal County Council’s Public Art Co-ordinator Caroline Cowley.

The artsandhealth.ie documentation bursary 2019 supported the production of this podcast, in addition to a publication Other People’s Practices: And More Besides and an academic paper by Dr. Sheelagh Broderick, ‘Contemporary Art, Health & Medicine: Other People’s Practices: Who are the Other People?’

Volcano Days in the Writing Room by Sylvia Cullen

5 May 2021

Writer Sylvia Cullen was awarded an artsandhealth.ie artist bursary in 2020 to reflect on her 14-year creative writing residency at Killagoley Training & Activation Centre (KTAC) in Enniscorthy. Participants came from Wexford Mental Health Adult Services and were part of the Arts Ability programme, funded by the HSE, the Arts Council and Wexford County Council.

Developing an artistic relationship with participants over this many years, a rarity in arts and health practice, has led to compelling insights and a rich body of artistic work, now captured in Sylvia’s audio reflection, Volcano Days in the Writing Room.

KTAC is attached to the former psychiatric hospital, St Senan’s. Sylvia’s residency (2006-2019) took place during extraordinary changes in the mental health system including the closure of the hospital. In Sylvia’s words, this reflection is the ‘untold story of how, despite all the pressures of mental illness, creativity flourished and thrived in the shadow of what used to be called “the Asylum”.’

The artsandhealth.ie 2020 artist bursary was awarded to artists working in arts and health contexts to reflect on their practice. The bursary is funded by the HSE and the Arts Council.

When you asked us to look: The world of Open Gallery

12 November 2019

Delivering an art project in an acute setting for people with dementia and other age-related conditions can bring unique rewards and challenges. This podcast explores the Open Gallery art viewing programme at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) from the viewpoint of the healthcare staff, artists and participants involved.

Open Gallery was established in 2018 by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), an arts organisation based at UHW. The project invites people living with dementia primarily, but not exclusively, and their family members / carers, to look at, discuss and enjoy paintings from the hospital’s art collection in a safe and welcoming space. There are two strands to Open Gallery: the first, which is the focal point of this podcast, is for patients at UHW; the second strand is for people living with dementia in the community and takes place at the WHAT Centre for Arts & Health on the hospital campus.

Mind-Reading 2017: Mental Health and the Written Word

20 October 2018

Mind-Reading 2017 was a one-day programme of talks and workshops at dlr Lexicon seeking to explore productive interactions between literature and mental health both historically and in the present day. Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, interdisciplinary professionals, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, the conference aimed to identify the roles that writing and narrative can play in medical education, patient and self-care, and/or professional development schemes.

Mind-Reading 2017 was organised by Dr. Elizabeth Barrett (UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) and Dr. Melissa Dickson (University of Birmingham with the Diseases of Modern Life Project at St Anne’s College, Oxford).


Tiny Kind Gestures

29 January 2018

During the summer months of 2016, artist Tess Leak and designer Orlagh O’Brien of Haiku Island Press attended the Renal Unit at Cork University Hospital. Collaborating with 24 patients during dialysis, they created a collection of haiku-inspired poetry. In September 2017, Tess and Orlagh invited seven diverse voices from the town of Skibbereen and surrounding area to read aloud the entire collection of Haiku poems ‘Tiny Kind Gestures’.

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