Image shown: Still from The Room

In 2013, artist Tom Meskell and award-winning documentary maker Róisín Loughrey were awarded an inaugural bursary from, the national arts and health website managed by the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), to document through film an arts programme involving people who have an acquired brain injury, which is facilitated by Tom at Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. The completed short documentary entitled The Room will be launched in Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar at 6pm on Monday, 12 May 2014.

The Room sets out to explore the small moments of magic that happen in the course of the arts programme; moments that allow for growth for both participants and the artist. Using a fly-on-the-wall approach, the film is a powerful and moving portrayal of the creative experience of long-stay hospital residents who have an acquired brain injury as a result of stroke, accident or conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s and reveals the profound impact of the arts programme on their lives.

In the words of the Arts Director of WHAT, Mary Grehan, ‘Given the sensitivity of the healthcare context, unlike other arts practices, much arts and health work happens behind closed doors. With the aim of encouraging high-quality documentation of this very specialised field of work, WHAT via made this unique bursary available in 2013 through a competitive process. We are delighted with the result. ‘The Room’ illustrates a number of key principles of best arts and health practice and shows us how the artist encounters each and every participant, not as a person with a particular diagnosis, but as an artist with a creative voice.’

WHAT via is making a second bursary available in 2014 which is funded by the Arts Council and the Cork Arts and Health Programme, HSE South. See here  for details.

The launch of the documentary film (11mins) will be followed by a post show discussion with Tom Meskell and Róisín Loughrey.

This event is free to attend.

The Room will be available to view on following this event.


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