Image shown: Ghrian Mhi-litheach Bhan (oil on canvas_36 x 40 cm) by Gemma Hodge

The Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is delighted to launch the first of its planned series of exhibitions entitled A Better Place in University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Thursday 2 June. This exhibition will feature a new body of paintings by artist Gemma Hodge called Terra Incognita which was selected for exhibition via a secret ballot by staff, patients and visitors in February from the work of 37 artists whose identity was not revealed during the voting process.

Terra Incognita evokes a sense of a place by capturing the changing qualities of light and using pared down references to the landscape. Depictions of early morning fog, the fading light at dusk, tidal marshes and fleeting shadows give her work atmosphere while creating a timeless space for the viewer.

This exhibition brings Gemma Hodge back to UHW after an absence of 15 years. She was artist in residence in WHAT in 2001 and had her first exhibition at the hospital. She studied Fine Art at Crawford College of Art and Design and Cyprus College of Art. She spent seven years working as an artist and educator in London where she completed commissions for Charing Cross Hospital and was artist in residence with Paintings in Hospitals. She recently returned to Ireland from Australia and currently lives in Cork.

In the words of the artist: “I am delighted to be chosen to participate in A Better Place. It is a privilege to exhibit at University Hospital Waterford, as people from all walks of life will see the work, not just traditional exhibition goers. I am really grateful to the staff, patients and visitors who took the time to vote for my work.”

According to the Arts Director, Mary Grehan, “WHAT believes that original art in hospitals make it a better place for everyone. However, opinions differ about the kind of artwork that should be exhibited in hospitals and so we decided on this occasion to give the choice to those who would see the A Better Place exhibition – patients, visitors and staff of University Hospital Waterford. This was a highly democratic exercise and as such we are bound to follow the choice of the people!”

The exhibition will be launched at 5.30pm on Thursday 2 June by Dr Jimmy Lyons, consultant in anaesthesia and pain medicine at UHW. The exhibition will run until 3 August and will be on view in the ground floor corridor leading to the UHW outpatients departments. For further information, contact WHAT at 051-842664 or email


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