Image shown: Storyboards at Tullamore Train Station. Photo credit: Rowena Keaveny

Since 2005 Anam Beo, Offaly’s Arts, Health and Wellbeing organisation has been providing a programme of arts to help promote health and wellbeing through creativity in health centres around Offaly. To mark 10 years of their work and with funding through Offaly County Council’s Per Cent for Art scheme, Storyboards has recently been installed in Tullamore Train Station. The launch of the project and exhibition will take place on 12 November 2015 at Tullamore Train Station and Aras an Chontae, Tullamore, Offaly.

Storyboards features a collection of images and quotes made by participants over the past 10 years and tells of the journey that both participants and artists have been on since the beginning of the programme. Over 500 people in care have benefitted from and been empowered by creative expression through the programme.

Displayed on the railings of the train station, visible to passengers both on the platform and passing through, each piece has its own standalone meaning but forms part of the linear story of Anam Beo.  Accompanying this work is an animated short film and booklet which brings together the lively spirit (Anam Beo means ‘Lively Spirit’) of the participants from across the decade while also celebrating the diversity and vibrancy of the Anam Beo archive.

The creative workshops, documentation and recordings were carried out between June to November 2015.

Project Partners: Storyboards is a public art collaboration between Offaly County Council, The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, Anam Beo, Irish Rail, Dublin – Mid Leinster HSE, Clara Day Care Centre, The Attic Therapy Centre, Birr Mental Health Centre, Birr Community Nursing Unit, The Irish Wheelchair Association, Ballinagar and Riada House, Tullamore.

Anam Beo artists: Julie Spollen, Rowena Keaveny, Jackie Lynch and Tina Hayes.

It is heartening that Anam Beo exists in the company of people who not only love the arts, but who feel a responsibility to ensure it has an all inclusive nature.’ – Julie Spollen

A note from Sinead O’Reilly Arts Officer, Offaly County Council:

‘Anam Beo place great emphasis on reminding us of what people can achieve when given the chance, regardless of their physical or mental limitations. Arts and Health are very different contexts, with different languages and requirements, but when a trusting space is created between an artist and a patient, something special happens. We have heard and read the many heartwarming testimonials and uplifting moments from patients and staff that have been in that creative space with Anam Beo artists. We are proud to have been part of its foundation and ongoing development, humbled by the significance of its quiet yet powerful impact and marvel at the innovation, dedication and warmth that the Anam Beo artists have brought to their work for ten years.

The public nature of Storyboards is very important, it is a story that needs to be heard more and their placement in Tullamore Train Station reflects beautifully on the ongoing journey that is our personal and creative wellbeing.’


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