Bookings are now being accepted for Arts and Health Check Up, Check In, the unique arts and health get-together planned by, WHAT, Create and Dublin City Council’s The LAB. Taking place on 29 January 2016, this event aims to take the pulse of arts and health in Ireland and promote solidarity and connection among practitioners.

Set against the backdrop of 1916 commemorations, Arts and Health Check Up, Check In will explore the notion of a shared manifesto for this field of practice. The day will open with presentations from Pat Cooke, UCD School of Art History and Cultural Policy, and Clive Parkinson, Arts for Health, Metropolitan Manchester University. Parkinson will talk about the political thinking that led to and is embodied in the UK’s first Manifesto for Arts and Health. See

Participants will explore their own ideas around a manifesto through a hands-on workshop with artists Jesse Jones and Eleanor Philips. Examples of diverse practice will be presented in a pecha kucha format by Jennie Moran, Mary Dineen, Marie Brett, Ríonach Ní Néill, Alan Counihan, Charlotte Donovan, Marielle MacLeman and Ray Yeates.

Ailbhe Murphy, Director of Create, will chair a panel discussion exploring creative and collaborative practices of resistance and care featuring Prof. Gerry Kearns, Maynooth University, and artists Dominic Thorpe and Niamh O’Connor.

For full programme details go to:

Book your place here:

Admission costs €20 including lunch by the acclaimed Luncheonette.

Mary Grehan, Director of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT): ‘Often individual artists and health practitioners find themselves working in relative isolation. This Check Up, Check In event is an opportunity to connect practitioners from a range of working contexts and contextualise their work within a wider critical debate.’

Ailbhe Murphy, Director of Create, the national agency for collaborative arts: ‘Having just come from our own Networking Day we see the enormous benefit of creating spaces like Check Up Check In, which is a timely and valuable platform for those working in arts and health to network and discuss their work in the company of invited speakers and thinkers.’

For further information, contact Mary Grehan, Arts Director, WHAT at or phone 051 842664.

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In is supported by the Arts Council, Dublin City Council and CAPP (Collaborative Arts Partnership Programme, funded through the Creative Europe programme).


About the contributors

Artist Marie Brett creates work that responds to culturally shunned and tricky subjects. Her practice is informed by contextual and relational based research collaborations and material responses include photography, sound, video and sculptural form. Marie holds BA and MA Degrees from Goldsmiths College, London University and has received several awards with artworks held in national and international collections. Recently, she was an editorial panel member of and a mentor for the Create AIC scheme, toured The Amulet nationally, screened at Cork Film Festival and exhibited at The LAB Gallery. She is currently touring E.gress, opening with an exhibition at IMMA and continuing to five further venues.

Pat Cooke is Director of the MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management at UCD. Previously, he was Director of both Kilmainham Gaol and the Pearse Museum. As a heritage sector manager, he pioneered the use of museums and historic properties in Ireland as sites for major art projects. He was Chairman of the Irish Museums Association (2002-06) and is currently an assessor for Heritage Council’s Museum Standards Programme for Ireland.

Alan Counihan has created works for public and private commissions, solo exhibitions and installations in Ireland, Scotland, Spain and the USA. His most recent social engagement has been the Personal Effects Project based on the belongings of dead or discharged patients from Grangegorman Mental Hospital. His radio documentary Ghosts of Grangegorman was recently broadcast on RTE Radio 1. With the support of an Artlinks Bursary Award his Personal Effects Project is now exploring the historic and contemporary delivery of mental health services in the southeast counties of Ireland.

Mary Dineen is a Community Mental Health Nurse working in the Cork mental health services. She is a founder member and current Chairperson of Arts+Minds. She trained as a nurse in Our Lady’s Hospital Cork and at Cork University Hospital and has graduated from UCC with a BA and MA degree. She has a lifelong interest in the arts and sings with a local choir in Cork. She is committed to promoting the positive contribution arts participation can make to mental health in general and to the wellbeing of mental health service users in particular.

Charlotte Donovan is a visual artist with almost 30 years of experience devising, developing facilitating and managing art projects in healthcare and community contexts in Scotland and Ireland.  She currently coordinates a community arts for health programme and community garden in Knocknaheeny on the northside of Cork city, as well as undertaking freelance projects. Her experience is wide ranging and has also included international residencies, public art commissions, curating exhibitions, training and mentoring, project evaluation and consultancy.  

Professor Gerry Kearns gained his PhD in Geography from the University of Cambridge. His work is at the intersection of historical, political and medical themes in Geography. His 2009 book, Geopolitics and Empire, won the Murchison Award from the Royal Geographical Society as the most significant contribution to geographical scholarship that year. He is currently researching the cultural politics of AIDS for a book to be called Making Space for AIDS.

Dublin-based artist Jesse Jones studied Sculpture in NCAD. Sculptural thinking has informed her film practice which seeks the plasticity and malleability within linear historical narratives and explores historical gestures of communal culture through processes of disruption and ambiguity which may hold resonance in our current social and political landscape. She is collaborating with Sarah Browne on a project called In the Shadow of the State co-commissioned by Create and Artangel (UK).  She will present a solo show of new work at the Hugh Lane Gallery Dublin in February 2016. She lectures at the Crawford College of Art in Cork.

Marielle MacLeman is a Galway-based visual artist working across drawing, object-making and site-specific installation. She has worked widely in participative Arts and Health contexts including the development of long-term programmes for palliative care and haemodialysis, and public art commissions spanning community nursing, paediatric, and neonatal contexts. She has written and designed for publications including The Pattern of a Bird (2008), The Magician and the Swallow’s Tale (2013), and The Music of What Happens (2014). Her projects have been supported by The Scottish Arts Council, Glasgow City Council, The Arts Council of Ireland, and Galway City Council.

Jennie Moran is a visual artist who tries to make places remember people after they have gone by providing opportunities for loitering, causing delays, and letting the dust of invisible histories accumulate using the infrastructure of hospitality (light, heat, food). She has gathered knowledge through a degree in sculpture at the National College of Art and Design and international residencies at NES Iceland, Fondazione Ratti, Italy and Galleria Blanda, Buenos Aires. Her projects have been facilitated by a Dublin City Council Art Bursary, an Arts Council Project Award, an Artist in the Community Award, an Engaging with Architecture Award and a Visual Art Bursary.

Ríonach Ní Néill is a dance artist and curator. As Galway Dance Artist in Residence, she curates the Galway Dance Days | Corp_Real International Dance Festival & Symposium, and is dance curator at Firkin Crane, Cork. She holds a PhD in Geography from UCD, and guest lectures in dance in Germany and Sweden. She founded Ciotóg in 2006, whose works have been performed worldwide, winning international awards. She has a particular interest in socially engaged art, and has developed dance projects for older people (including the Macushla Dance Club), people living with dementia, and people living with psychiatric illness. She currently sits on the editorial panel of

Niamh O’Connor is an artist and freelance arts co-ordinator. She is the co-ordinator of the Arts Initiative in Mental Health, a programme of the Mental Health Service Sligo Leitrim, which places artists in various mental health and community settings, primarily to work creatively with persons supported by the service. In a recent artist in residency at The Bureau of Radical Accessibility in The Model Sligo, she facilitated conversations with staff, healthcare workers, people with enduring mental health conditions, artists and other gallery visitors around the question ‘What does mental wellbeing look like for the art museum?’

Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, a specialist research unit that explores the relationship between creativity, culture, the arts and public health. He works with partners in Italy, Lithuania, Turkey and the USA and since 2009 has supported the development of practice and research in Australia. With funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council he is working with colleagues across the UK on an interdisciplinary ‘Connected Communities’ research project, exploring the relationship between the visual arts and dementia friendly communities.

Eleanor Phillips works within a collaborative framework whereby outcomes are informed through conversation and exploration with others. She studied Sculpture in NCAD, followed by a H.Dip in Community Arts Education, NCAD and an MA Art in Public at Ulster University Belfast. Past projects include Widow’s Conversation: honouring the experiences of grief within a culture of memorials, Belfast; Bureau of Enquiry: exploring power relations within homeless services, St. Louis, Missouri; and The Northsiders Museum: curating a space for free exchange of memory and art within a retail unit, Northsiders Shopping Centre, Dublin. Together with seven other artists she has founded Outpost Studios, Bray, is a committee member of the co-operative Common Ground, Bray and the arts collective RAFT.

Dominic Thorpe is an Irish visual artist who works primarily through the body in performance, drawing, video and photography. He received an MA in Fine Art Practice from NCAD. His work often involves contextual and relational based processes. Through his practice he engages with subject matter that has significant social importance, often related to issues of trauma and injustice. He has shown and performed work widely internationally and in Ireland. He works at the Creative Well, Newbridge and at KCAT Arts Centre Kilkenny. In 2014/15 he was the first artist in residence at the humanities department of University College Dublin.

Ray Yeates is an arts practitioner and manager of thirty years’ experience. He began directing and acting at UCD in the late 70’s and was appointed Deputy Artistic Director of The Abbey Theatre at the age of 24. He emigrated to New York in the 90s, where he worked for The Irish Arts Centre and The Shades of Green Arts Festival in the Bronx and where he also returned to acting. On returning from America he became Director of Axis Ballymun and in 2011 City Arts Officer for Dublin City Council.


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