Headway, the national association for Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), will host Illuminations, an outdoor art installation specially designed for the 2015 Culture Night programme on Friday 18 September. Funded by the HSE Arts and Health programme, Illuminations will be visible on the Lee Fields, across from Cork County Hall, between 5pm and Midnight.

Consisting of handmade willow lanterns constructed by each of the clients attending the three day service and training programmes across Headway centres in Cork, the installation aims to raise awareness of the experience of living with brain injury through messages attached to the lanterns that will be written from the lantern-makers to the public.

According to project coordinator and Headway training officer Paula Larkin, “each of the messages will be unique to the person who made the lantern. Some will be short, some long, and all will express something about life, and brain injury, that our clients want the world to know.”

The installation will be ready for viewing from 5pm to accommodate families with children and people who may need to retire early, but Paula recommends visiting from about 8.30pm to get the full effect of the piece. “The candles inside the lanterns will be lit from 5pm”, said Paula, “but the installation will of course be most effective after dark, which is why we are running it until quite late.”

Visitors to the Lee Fields will also be able to listen to audio recordings of Headway clients describing their experiences of living with brain injury as they view the lanterns and the messages attached.

“Headway staff and clients will be onsite throughout the night”, said Paula, “we encourage people to stay and chat with us, to learn more about the project, and about brain injury and Headway. We are bringing this installation to a public space so that everyone can interact together. Brain injury is already referred to as a hidden disability and we hope that this piece will literally shine a light that brings it out into the open. ”

Illuminations will be found near the entrance to the Lee Fields right next to the Kingsley Hotel and across from County Hall. Visitors are advised to dress warmly.


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