Visual Artists Ireland in partnership with First Fortnight, the arts and mental health festival, and The LAB Gallery, Dublin, will host a series of talks and discussions between 13-19 January 2016 for artists and freelancers in the visual arts around good mental health. 

Resilience and Self Support
Wed 13 Jan (11.30 – 13.30)
Dr. Niall Crumlish, a psychiatrist and music lover, will give a talk around resilience and positive mental health followed by a short mindfulness session around resilience facilitated by Adie Clarke.

Healthy Work Practices
Sat 16 Jan (11.30 – 13.30)
Dr. Loren Duffy, psychologist, will open a discussion with participants around what aspects of your work you find most challenging to your mental wellbeing. Artist Theresa Nanigian will discuss how she has built in proactive practices into her work as an artist developing good communications with clients and using project management skills to support her creative work.

Talks & Panel Discussion with artists George Bolster, Alan Counihan and Ciara McKeon whose practices address mental health and the issue of suicide.
Tues 19 Jan (13.00 – 14.00)
Each artist will give a short talk about aspects of their work which have developed out of direct experience.  Eithne McAdam, First Fortnight organiser and art therapist, will facilitate a discussion with the artists and audience.

All of these events are free and will take place at The LAB Gallery. To register to attend please follow the registration link and name the event you would like to attend.

The Art of Mental Health is part of the First Fortnight programme of events that accompany the Damien Doyle and George Bolster exhibition ‘Amazement Insulates Us All/Memento Vivere’ at The LAB Gallery.


Dr. Niall Crumlish has been a psychiatrist since 1999 and a music fan since 1984, which he says ‘is the first time I remember telling my dad not to turn a particular song (Wham’s ‘Freedom’) off the radio’. He has written for State and Hot Press, Sunday Business Post and opinion pieces in the Irish Times and Irish Independent. He has been a consultant psychiatrist in St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, since 2010. He blogs about music and mental health on Psychiatry and Songs:

Adie Clarke has had a varied career as a teacher, (AMI, Hon B.Ed), a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (MSc) and as a Behaviour Management Consultant.  She has 20 years’ experience working with schools, teachers, parents and various organisations both in Ireland and in Canada.

Dr. Loren Duffy is a psychologist, writer, and speaker born in Ireland.  He has studied 20th Century psychology, mental disturbances and disorders (e.g. neurosis, psychosis) to understand human functioning. As a psychologist and coach, he specialises in personal change, resilience, empowerment and creativity. Loren has advised senior executives, entrepreneurs, and sport and creative professionals in over 40 countries around the world. As a speaker, he has lectured in, and delivered keynote addresses to, several leading universities.

Therese Nanigian

George Bolster is originally from Cork and currently lives and works in New York city.  His current exhibition at The LAB Gallery, Amazement Insulates Us All/Memento Vivere, features his work and that of his late partner Damien Doyle.  Their discussions about art over many years informed their art practice and Doyle’s death in 2010 was a huge personal loss to Bolster who has sought to make sense of it through a number of his text based works. The central conceit of the exhibition, drawn from a piece by Bolster called self erosion, examines the shared lives and experiences of two artists and assesses their collective motivation for being cultural producers, as well as their mutual history of depression.  This exhibition provides an opportunity for Bolster to combine his art and curatorial practice and is accompanied by an essay by Sara Reisman, Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in New York City.

Alan Counihan is a Kilkenny based artist and has been practicing for over over twenty years as a sculptor. The focus of his work is on the specificity of place, whether through large-scale public and private commissions or through smaller studio-based works, in all cases centering on the exploration, and hopeful enrichment, of the human experience of place. His current work in progress,  Personal Effects: a History of Possession, has grown out of an engagement with the personal effects of past patients from The Richmond Asylum – later known as St Brendan’s Hospital – in Grangegorman. Some of these possessions were used to create a work of art that has at its core the histories of anonymous persons who lived, and were cared for, within the institution of the hospital. Given their context these possessions remain charged objects yet with little of the strange to be found among them. They are of the everyday, suggestive of inner lives no less rich nor remarkable than our own and revelatory of stories as much about ourselves as about their owners.

Ciara McKeon is a Dublin-based visual artist whose work focuses on performance. She works as a curator and artist, curating Unit 1 with Dominic Thorpe.

Eithne McAdam is an art therapist and founder member of First Fortnight and the First Fortnight Centre for Creative Therapies, based in Dublin.


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