Image shown: Bealtaine Discussion: The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living

Taking inspiration from Damien Hirst’s iconic shark in formaldehyde sculpture The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), this multidisciplinary discussion will explore how we conceive, imagine, understand, process and articulate the difficult subject of death and dying. This event is taking place on 9 May 2019 as part of Bealtaine Festival, celebrating the arts and creativity as we age. 

Through the diverse eyes of artists, academics and medics, as well as personal testimony, this discussion will examine and shed light on our peculiar capacities, perceptions, taboos, fetishes, fears and even shame around conversations on death.

The discussion will be chaired by Prof. Philip Napier, Head of the School of Fine Art at NCAD, and will include the following panel: Dr. Anne Marie O’Dwyer (psychiatrist), Dr. Kevin Atherton (artist), Marie Brett (artist), Dana Walrath (artist and fellow with the Global Brain Health Institute, TCD) and Dr. Laurence McKeown (playwright and former hunger-striker).

Event information
Venue: First Floor Seminar Room, Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing, St James Hospital, Dublin 8. Follow the signs from the main hospital concourse to MISA.
Date: Thursday 9 May 2019
Time: 2.30 – 4.30pm
Tickets: Admission is free but spaces are limited. Register at


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