Image shown: Helium Arts' Creative Health Hubs with artist Siobhan Clancy (Cork) and Paul Bokslag (Limerick).

Image shown: Helium Arts' Creative Health Hubs with artist Siobhan Clancy (Cork) and Paul Bokslag (Limerick).

Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health organisation, have developed a Creative Health Hub model which uses an “arts on referral” approach to connect their hospital-based work with their community-based activities. In January 2019, Creative Health Hubs were launched in Cork  University Hospital led by artist Siobhán Clancy and in University Hospital Limerick led by artist Paul Bokslag. 

The artists are primarily based in Paediatric Outpatient Clinics where children, teenagers and their families can try out various age-appropriate creative activities and get to know the artists. From here, they have the opportunity to be referred by their doctors or parents to Helium’s community programme, where they can participate in a series of workshops over four to six weeks.

Community-based workshops will run from March-December 2019 throughout Cork and Limerick. The arts will be used in their many forms, tailored to the interests of the children and young people. Art forms may include painting, crafting, animation, adventure arts, printmaking, sound design, filmmaking and more.

Helium’s Creative Health Hubs provide a meaningful creative and social outlet, supporting the social and emotional challenges that many children living with long-term medical conditions face in their daily lives. The artists develop activities and workshops that encourage expression, collaboration and decision-making, and promote creativity and wellbeing.

Siobhán Clancy 
Siobhán Clancy is Helium’s artist on the Cork Creative Health Hub. Siobhán is a visual artist concerned with social health and art as a catalyst for positive change. She often collaborates with other artists, activists, youth, community and women’s groups on issue-based themes. The outcomes are typically immersive. They manifest as games, multi-media works, participatory events, dialogues and performances in contexts of health, education and justice. Following graduation from NCAD with a BA in Fine Art in 2005, in 2014 Siobhán completed a Masters in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at NUI Maynooth. Her work with youth and community groups has been supported by the Arts Council of Ireland through numerous awards and travel bursaries. Since 2009, Siobhán has contributed to the Helium Arts artist team across various programmes for young people. Siobhán also offers consultancy, educational and facilitation services for a number of organisations. She is a member of the Arts Council of Ireland Peer Panel and Visual Artists Ireland.

Paul Bokslag 
Paul Bokslag is Helium’s artist on the Limerick Creative Health Hub. He studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Leiden, the Netherlands and moved to Ireland in 1999 to co-found the inclusive KCAT Arts Centre in Callan, Co. Kilkenny. He is passionate about participative and inclusive arts practice and has facilitated many creative workshops and classes for different age groups and abilities. Paul works across a range of media, from drawing, painting, printmaking, papercutting and photography to sculpture and site specific installations and he has exhibited around Ireland and the Netherlands, including Temple Bar Gallery + Studios in Dublin, VISUAL Centre for Contemporary Art in Carlow, Waterford Healing Arts Trust and the National Design & Craft Gallery in Kilkenny. Paul was a recipient of the 2011 Healthway International Arts and Health Fellowship with DADAA in Fremantle, Western Australia.

Helium Arts’ Creative Health Hubs are supported by the Arts Council. The Cork Hub is supported by Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund and the Community Foundation for Ireland and is taking place in partnership with Cork University Hospital’s Arts, Health and Wellbeing Programme. The Limerick Hub is taking place in partnership with University Hospital Limerick, Limerick City and County Council and Limerick Culture and Arts Department.

If you would like to find out more, please contact: or phone 044 93 96 960.


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