Image shown: Other People's Practices with (clockwise) artists in residence Emma Finucane

Image shown: Other People's Practices with (clockwise) artists in residence Emma Finucane

The documentation bursary is an annual award which aims to encourage high quality, creative documentation of arts and health practice nationally. The 2019 bursary has been awarded to John Conway, who will work with Dr. Sheelagh Broderick and Conor Foran to create a publication exploring Other People’s Practices (OPP), an artist-in-residence / research programme founded and directed by Conway.

OPP supports three artists to produce collaborative, socially engaged projects in Usher’s Island, a National Forensic Mental Health Service community centre for recovered and recovering service users of the Central Mental Hospital.

Participant artists Emma Finucane, Glenn Loughran and Jonathan Cummins are supported to collaborate with service users and to respond to the complex setting through collaborative outputs and solo responses. Each four-month residency has a variety of public facing outcomes including public talks, exhibitions and a final collective exhibition in 2020. OPP takes place in a largely under-explored field for critical visual arts and arts and health productions and has been made possible through a unique array of partnerships with Creative Ireland, the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), and the National Forensic Mental Health Service (NFMHS).

The aim of the documentary publication is to bring a critical insight to the project, its methodologies, the forensic mental health setting, and the potential role and value of contemporary art practices within it. The publication will also foreground the insights that artists, as outsiders, may bring to non-traditional settings. Alongside the publication, Broderick will produce an academic article and a podcast for dissemination on

John Conway: OPP producer
Conway is the director and curator of Other People’s Practices, which is part of a larger body work that John has been researching in the field of forensic mental healthcare since 2017. A visual artist and cultural producer, Conway works extensively in collaborative community and community arts and health settings. His practice seeks to investigate the role and capacity of visual art, and the artist, in non-traditional settings. These enquiries take place through collaborative projects that engage target participants in dialogue around the potential and value of visual arts in relation to their specific set of circumstances.

Dr. Sheelagh Broderick: Writer
Broderick is an artist, writer and researcher who has worked in the health sector for over 15 years. Her 2015 PhD “(Mis)Interpreting Arts and Health: What Else Can an Arts Practice Do?,” explores the field of arts and health in Ireland and the frameworks of assessment applied to them. Sheelagh has published many articles in different publication arenas including “Arts Practices in Unreasonable Doubt? Reflections on Understandings of Arts Practices in Healthcare Settings” (Arts & Health, An International Journal for Research, Policy & Practice, 2011).

Conor Foran: Publication designer
Foran is a multi-award-winning freelance designer currently working with Apple London. He was Designer-in-Residence at NCAD in 2018 and has produced the graphic identity and website of OPP.

For further information on Other People’s Practices and the participant artists visit

For updates and ongoing projects follow

The 2019 documentation bursary is funded by the HSE and the Arts Council.


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