Image shown: Examinations of arts and health

The Arts Office of County Louth is developing a framework for an arts and health programme which will involve artists in residence within healthcare settings. The first residency began last summer at Moorehall Healthcare in Ardee. Moorehall Healthcare offers innovative dementia care and also provides an independent living village for older people. County Louth is the first Age Friendly County in Ireland and Ardee is especially recognised as an Age Friendly Town.

Artist Pamela Whitaker developed an art studio within the dining area of the Moorehall Healthcare Village. The studio acts as an interactive exhibition space for a variety of artworks incorporating printmaking, botanical drawing, photography, fibre arts, and poetry. The botanical art studio is connected to newly cultivated edible garden areas located within the healthcare village, and a flowering biodiversity garden. Moorehall manager, Breege Conlon says ‘the art studio is art at many levels, a holistic approach where people can participate at whatever level they can. The idea of the studio is important as people can come and go when they want to, and explore different kinds of materials and ways of looking at art’.

Over the next two weeks the art studio at Moorehall Healthcare will be open to visitors. Local schools, active retirement members, artists, and healthcare staff will be invited to create within the studio and learn more about the project. The Irish Baroque Orchestra will be playing a recital at Moorehall Healthcare as part of the Ardee Baroque Festival on 16 November 2012. This is an annual event, and a much appreciated musical experience for the dementia care home. A research journal highlighting ideas and practices in arts and health called Muse: Examinations of Arts and Health ( is being compiled for artists in County Louth interested in learning more about arts practices within healthcare.

This project is supported by Create Louth funding for the arts. For more information contact Pamela Whitaker, Arts and Health Researcher for County Louth at or 086-8250806


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