Venue: The LAB, Foley Street, Dublin 1  
Date: 15 October 2012
Time:  6.00pm to 8.00pm

What inspires artists to make work about illness? And what challenges face those working with artists in hospitals? Mary Grehan of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust and artists Ciara McMahon and Dominic Thorpe join artist Rachel Tynan for this free event, which is organised in light of Tynan’s research and resulting exhibition, Cut Throat, at The LAB. Supported by Dublin City of Science 2012 and Innovation Dublin, this talk will explore the nature of art and illness from the perspectives of the curator working in a medical environment and the artists responding to illness through their work. A second, accompanying talk takes place on Wednesday 24 October 2012.

Speaker Information:

Mary Grehan is currently Arts Director of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust. An artist, curator and arts manager, she graduated from NCAD (1988) and UCD Arts Administration Studies (1989), she has been workingas an arts manager /curator in social contexts since 1989. She was the first curator at the National Maternity Hospital in 1994 and the first Artistic Director of Tallaght Community Arts Centre, (1995 – 2000). Mary has lectured in professional practice at IADT (1999 – 2001) and WIT (2003) and has also worked as a freelance arts consultant. In 2005/ 06 she completed a Masters research study (with distinction) at the University of Central Lancashire entitled Mind Where You Look which took the form of a comparative study between an acute hospital and a gallery as sites for viewing art.

Ciara McMahon practices both art and medicine. Her art practice is frequently collaborative and performative, realised through photography, film and site specific installation. Subjectivity, intersubjectivity and the body are explored in the work, which negotiates the osmosis between the disciplines of art and medicine. McMahon is currently working with The open rehearsal group on an Arts Council funded film commission. In 2011 McMahon was awarded a travel and training award from the Arts Council in addition to the Adurey E. Klinck scholarship at the Banff Arts Centre, Canada. In 2010 she received funding via the artist in the community scheme managed by Create, the national agency for collaborative arts, to research and develop the collaborative Leaky Self Project ( ). McMahon has exhibited widely in Ireland and internationally. McMahon has masters in Art in the Contemporary World (combined pathway) from NCAD and a MB from TCD.

Dominic Thorpe is a visual artist based in Dublin. By working primarily through live/performance based processes Thorpe explores presence and experience at the moment of encounter, both for the artist and audience. He has shown and performed work extensively in Ireland and internationally, including at the Guangzhou Festival of Live Art China, the Bergen Museum of Art Norway, Live Action Sweden, Catalyst Arts Centre Belfast and Templebar Gallery Dublin. He has had solo exhibitions/performances at the 126 Gallery Galway, the Court House Arts Centre Tinahealy Wicklow and as part of the Tulca Visual Arts Festival Galway. He has completed a number of public art commissions in Ireland and has received numerous bursaries/awards from the Arts Council of Ireland, the Kildare County Council, Culture Ireland and Create.

Rachel Tynan (b.1985) recently completed an MA at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) specializing in textiles and examining the psychological, physical and emotional effects illness has on the human body through textile imagery juxtaposed with fragile glass. The work has evolved through collaborative art making, studio practice, dialogue, case studies and consultations with a focus group to examine life with ME/CFS.


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