Image shown: The Creative Well

The Creative Well has worked for the past four years throughout Co. Kildare providing a fun and relaxed space for people to engage their creativity through experimentation, exploration and play. Open to all, from beginner to practicing artist and everyone in between. The Creative Well: OPEN STUDIO in partnership with Riverbank Arts Centre presents All that work and all this finding out at The McKenna Gallery  1 – 31 May 2015 and a visiting lecture series.

The Creative Well is an ongoing collaboration between visual artists’ Emma Finucane and Dominic Thorpe, Kildare’s Arts and Wellbeing coordinator Carolann Courtney and Catherine O’Grady a HSE project coordinator (Former HSE clinical nurse specialist). For the month of May we will fill the gallery with visuals, a series of discussions, workshops, and artworks. We will use our time in the gallery to find out and highlight the benefits of an open art space in Newbridge. We will look at the potential of creativity and collective space for personal development, education, health and socialisation benefits and the response of the community to the Creative Well Programme so far.

Coinciding with All that work and all this finding out we will launch our Creative Well: Visiting Lecture Series.

Schedule of Events

The Creative Well – Adults, Art & Play Presentation and Shared Discussion
Fri / 1 May / 10am – 1.30pm / Free
A series of presentations on creativity, education, play and adulthood at the Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge. This event will have presentations from artists, curators and educators who will look at broad ideas related to art education and creative process as a means of play for adults. See below for information about the speakers. There will also be time for questions and open discussion.For more information please see below or go to:

This event is free places must be booked. To book a place(s) please log onto: /
Email: or telephone: (045) 448327

Emma Finucane
Emma Finucane is a visual artist. She currently works at the Creative Well, Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge and is Artist in Residence in UCD College of Health Science where she is working with a midwifery lecturer and midwife based in Holles Street for the following research initiative: An interpretive phenomenological study: Illuminating childbirth experiences of women attending a midwife-led service via visual art works.

In 2014 Emma was awarded a place on the Arts and Health creative practitioner panel for DLR County Council to engage with local HSE funded residential and day care facilities. In 2013 she completed a per cent for art commission in an arts and health context for Carlow County Council. She has been a visiting lecturer in NCAD, IADT, UCD, IT Carlow, and Ballyfermot Senior College.

She has been commissioned and supported by the Arts Council Ireland, CREATE, Wicklow, Carlow, and Kildare County Councils, The Open Window Project, and Pfizer Ireland. Her work has been shown in Dublin, Belfast, Germany, U.K, L.A. and Copenhagen and can be found in many private and public collections including: OPW, AIB, DIT, and UCD. She is a founding member of OUTPOST studios, Bray, Co.Wicklow and is on the board of Blackchurch Print Studio, Dublin.

Dominic Thorpe
Dominic Thorpe is an Irish visual artist. He currently works at the Creative Well Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge, the KCAT arts centre Kilkenny and currently tutors third level students on the arts and health module for the National College of Art and Design and St James Hospital. He is currently the first artist in resident at the humanities department of University College Dublin. He has shown work widely internationally and in Ireland, including at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, the Bangkok Cultural Centre Thailand, The Bergen Museum Norway and the Galway Arts Centre Ireland. He has received numerous awards and bursaries from the Arts Council of Ireland, Kildare County Council, Culture Ireland and CREATE (The national development agency for collaborative arts in Ireland). For Unit1 he has co-curated the work of over 70 Irish and International artists.

Jennie Guy
Jennie Guy is an artist and independent curator / researcher based in Dublin. She is the co-founder & director of Mobile Art School, a project that aims to disseminate contemporary art practices within a primary and secondary school context, 2011-2014). She is interested in expanding the relationships between students, schools, artists, curators, and exhibition venues, and is currently evolving a strategic methodology that highlights the potential of creative and evaluative documentation (working via multiple audio, video, and print formats). Recent projects include: Thinking Visual, residency in Blessington Community College, The Artist Stays (a 30-week residency in Co. Dublin); The Thinking Hand (a workshop series in Co. Meath); a series of workshops for the TULCA 2014 and Summer Rising Festival at IMMA. Through Mobile Art School she has worked with many artists exploring different media including: Sven Anderson, John Beattie, Stephen Brandes, Michelle Browne, Karl Burke, Rhona Byrne, Felicity Clear, Hannah Fitz, Jane Fogarty, Mark Garry, Russell Hart, Emma Haugh, Vera Klute, Vanessa Donoso Lopez, Ruth Lyons, Isabel Nolan, and Tamarin Norwood. Recently has been doing a research residency in RUA RED and curating upcoming residencies. A selection of her work will be profiled on the arts-in-education Portal that is being launched in Dublin Castle in May 2015.

Monique McEvoy
Monique McEvoy, MIAPTP, Play and Creative Arts Therapist (dance & movement), has worked for over 25 years supporting children and families in community and residential settings. Monique has extensive experience working with children experiencing social and emotional difficulties, trauma, intellectual disabilities, developmental delays, communication disorders, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Monique facilitates children with special needs inclusion in mainstream pre-schools, offers staff support in early years school settings and works as an accredited Play Therapist in community service and private practise at the Listening Tree Play Therapy Centre.

Art, Health and Community – A Model for Social Prescription; Presentation and Shared Discussion
Fri/ 8 May/ 10am – 1.30pm / Free

This event will have presentations from artists, arts and health coordinators, health practitioners and service providers who will look at broad ideas related to art and wellbeing in community context and examine hoe the Creative Well can be a model for social prescription in Co. Kildare. See below for information about the speakers. There will also be time for questions and open discussion.

This event is free places must be booked. To book a place(s) please log onto: /
Email: or telephone: (045) 448327

Emma Finucane
Dominic Thorpe

Caroline Peppard

Caroline Peppard works as a Senior Health Promotion Officer in the HSE. She is interested in ways to engage difficult to reach groups in conversations about health and wellbeing and she sees the potential for using art to achieve this. She is also interested in social and health policy and how this can influence arts and health.

Dr. Hillary Moss
Dr. Hillary Moss is the Director of the National Centre for Arts and Health, AMNCH. The National Centre for Arts and Health, Tallaght Hospital, exists to improve patient care and to promote the benefits of arts and health. The centre aims to improve the hospital experience for patients and visitors, to explore the therapeutic benefit of the arts, to build positive links with the local community and to make the arts accessible to patients who cannot access traditional venues.

The current arts programme includes exhibitions, live performances, creative writing classes, arts therapies, design projects and participatory art sessions on wards and waiting rooms.
The hospital arts programme features a number of national innovations and strives to promote best practice in arts and health, through professional development, research and evaluation.
Notable innovations include Composer in residence Ian Wilson, Orchestra in Residence The Irish Chamber Orchestra, an art therapy programme for children with diabetes and cystic fibrosis in hospital, music therapy in psychiatry and Age Related departments, a singing programme for babies and guardians and many more programmes. The Centre has a significant portfolio of publications in peer reviewed academic journals regarding aesthetics and health.
The centre also offers consultation and advice to services establishing arts and health programmes and regularly gives presentations on its work within both medical and arts settings.

The Resource Room: Art book and resource & research week at the Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge.
11 – 15 May / All day/ Free

The McKenna Gallery will be turned into an open source research space for the week open to artists, students and the general public.

A contemporary art library will be available to utilise and Kildare County Councils Arts Service arts and reference library will also be readily available for people to explore, examine and investigate.

The Arts and Wellbeing coordinator will be working from the gallery that week and available to discuss her work and the Creative Well Programme to any interested people, groups and parties. The space will be open for discussion, making and sharing.

As part of the process lead work of The Creative Well, the Arts and Wellbeing Coordinator and Assistant Arts Officer will be re-cataloguing the library throughout the week for redistribution throughout the county.

The Creative Well – Life Drawing Workshops at the McKenna Gallery, Riverbank Arts Centre

Fri / 29 May /10am – 12am & 1pm – 3pm / Free
This workshop is open to everyone; complete beginner, practicing artist and everyone in between, who has in interested in exploring life drawing with facilitating artists on hand to encourage and support.
Places are free but limited so booking essential.

To book a place(s) please log onto: /
Email: or telephone: (045) 448327
Please arrive early. The McKenna Gallery will not be open to the public for the duration of the workshops.


The Creative Well Visiting Artist Lecture Series
Artist talks at the Riverbank Arts Centre Newbridge.

Maria McKinney
Mon / 11 May / 7pm – 8pm / Free

Artist Maria McKinney uses everyday objects in her artwork. The craft of handling the materials is important, in order to transform their everyday use into visual intrigue. She was recently shortlisted for the MAC International 2014, selected by Francesco Bonami (Artistic Director of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin), Judith Nesbitt (Head of National and International Initiatives, Tate) and Hugh Mulholland (curator MAC). She is currently artist-in-residence in the science department of UCD and recently received a funding award from the Wellcome Trust to produce a body of work in collaboration with bovine geneticists in the coming year. In 2016 she will have solo exhibitions in Lokaal 01, Antwerp and the RHA, Dublin.

Previous solo exhibitions include the MAC, Belfast (2012), the Lab Gallery, Dublin (2010) and the Context Gallery, Derry (2008). Group exhibitions include The Kilkenny Arts Festival (2011), Eva, Limerick (2010), Futures, R.H.A., Dublin (2009), The Douglas Hyde Gallery 3, Dublin (2009), Katzan Arts Centre, Washington DC (2007); International residencies: the Banff Centre, Canada, Timelab and WARP, both Belgium as well as in East Iceland and a number in Ireland and U.K.

Mary Fitzgerald
Mon / 25 May / 7pm – 8pm

‘The experience of looking is not only based on what you see with your eyes – the immediate sensation of something – but also how personal history, individual understanding and internal thought process alter what is perceived.’

Mary Fitzgerald has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and her work is included in many public and private collections including: OPW, UCD, Trinity College Dublin, Bank de Paris, Microsoft Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and Axa Insurance. She has been awarded both a Visual Arts Bursary, and a Professional Development Grant from The Arts Council. She is a member of Artist Panel at IMMA. In 2008 Fitzgerald was awarded a three year Studio Residency at Independent Studio Artists, Dublin. Other Awards in 2008 include the Heinrich Boll Artists Residency and the Cill Riallaig Residency. Fitzgerald’s practice has broadened recently and she works across disciplines incorporating painting, printmaking and video. She also makes work in social contexts working with Breaking Ground in Ballymun she initiated ’The Home Project’, working with resident and art workers in Ballymun together they explored notions of home through printmaking processes. A fully functioning print studio was set up and still remains at AXIS Arts centre. Fitzgerald has also worked on the artist in prisons scheme at Mountjoy mens prison.
She is a lecturer in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design where she is also part of a research cluster based around Arts in Health contexts, and has recently finished a resaerch project at the Robert Mayne Day Unit in St James Hospital with her colleague Kirsty McGhie.

This is a great opportunity to hear professional contemporary artists speak about their art practice! Presented by the Creative Well as part of ‘All that work and all this finding out’ a month of events at Riverbank. For more information on the creative well please see below or go to: or

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