Currently Untitled (formerly the Breast Cancer Project) is the research phase of a collaborative community arts project, run by Visual Artist John Conway and Counselling Psychologist Dr Nicola Elmer. The project is supported by Create’s Artist in the Community Scheme (Research and Development with Mentoring) and is mentored by Visual Artist Dominic Thorpe. The project is also supported by The ARC Cancer Support Centre and DeAppendix Studios. It will take place in January and February 2016.
The concept for the project originally arose in 2014, during John’s six-month artist residency in University Hospital Waterford with the Waterford Healing Arts Trust.
John was subsequently introduced to counselling psychologist Dr Nicola Elmer, who has experience in and works within a psycho-oncology setting. Through their previous work, research and experience John and Nicola identified the benefit of creating a safe place for women to explore the emotional impact of breast cancer through creative expression.
The project will see John work with a group of six women over an initial series of six meetings. Nicola will be utilising her clinical experience to provide a safe environment to explore the collective and subjective impact of breast cancer. The group will use John’s visual art practice and arts facilitation experience as a vehicle to reflect on the transformational aspects of their breast cancer as experienced on a physical and psychological level.
Currently Untitled’s intention is to develop the base for a critically relevant and accessible community art project for women living with breast cancer. The initial findings of the research phase will be exhibited in DeAppendix Studios in 2016 as work in progress.