Image shown: Moynihan

Image shown: Moynihan

We continue our series highlighting artworks on loan from the Arts Council of Ireland Collection to healthcare settings with a journey to Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) at St James’s Hospital, Dublin. ‘Artists Portraits 1987’ by Muiris Moynihan are among a number of works on loan from the Arts Council Collection at MISA as selected by members of staff.

Creative Life at MISA
Mercer’s Institute for Successful Ageing (MISA) is a state-of-the-art facility at St James’s Hospital Dublin, providing access to extensive specialty and multi-disciplinary services for older adults all contained in one building.

The Creative Life Centre is at the core of care at MISA promoting and highlighting creativity in ageing, integrating within a hospital and community context to engage, explore and appreciate various practices.

In collaboration with partners an inclusive programme is delivered at the interface of the hospital and community with participation both locally and nationally.

This provides the opportunity for people to experience the positive aspects of creativity in ageing that can help enhance physical and mental wellbeing.

Kate MacDonagh, Artist in Residence at MISA
In the MISA Building of St. James’s Hospital are twenty-four black and white photographs by Muiris Moynihan, inviting patients, staff and visitors to experience art at first hand. These portraits of Ireland’s most prominent painters, printmakers and sculptors of the 1980s give us an insight into their personalities.

Image shown: Moynihan, Muiris, ‘Brian Bourke’, 1987. Photograph, 47 x 32 cm. Collection of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon.

Feature image (above): Moynihan, Muiris, ‘Camille Souter’, 1987. Photograph, 40 x 30 cm. Collection of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. 

Staff and Patients’ responses to Muiris Moynihan’s ‘Artists Portraits 1987’

Maria Kane (QSID), Staff Member, St James’s Hospital:

‘While rushing from my office to yet another meeting I caught glimpses of the exhibition. Stark, clean, pure and still against the wall of the busy, noisy world of the hospital. I was intrigued. I wondered who these people were.  Some were beautiful, some had life etched on their faces. What was this about? Why were they there? These pictures reminded me that there is life beyond the walls of the hospital, a world unrelated to healthcare. Each time I passed my eye was drawn to something else. For a moment I was taken away from my busy thoughts about the long to do list…’

Rhoda MacManus – patient, St James’s Hospital

Reflections on the photographs of Muiris Moynihan in the MISA Department of St James’s Hospital:

I’ve been a patient here since 2014, but never ventured into MISA before. Asked to respond to Muiris Moynihan’s photographs of artists was a welcome task, since I knew many of those portrayed. In classic crisp monochrome, they wonderfully captured each artist’s personality, but many questions arose for me. How were his subjects chosen – were they simply a collection of artists he knew, or did the Arts Council suggest a list of “the favoured”? And how much freedom did the artists have about how they were to be photographed?...’

About the series
The Arts Council Collection in Healthcare Settings is a six-part series produced in partnership with and the Arts Council Visual Arts Collection Department. Selected artworks on loan from the Arts Council of Ireland Collection are chosen by participating healthcare settings together with responses from staff, service users and artists working in these settings. An accompanying perspective by Ben Mulligan and Ann O’Connor from the Arts Council provides insights into the lending process.

View artworks from the series on this dedicated page:


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