Image shown: Looking to the Future: Clockwise L-R: JP Swaine

The national website for arts and health celebrates its 10th anniversary in October 2021. To mark the occasion we are ‘looking to the future’, bringing together stakeholders from the arts and health sectors on Wednesday 20 October to explore what kind of future they envision for arts and health in Ireland. 

What do we need to progress arts and health practice in Ireland? What does an arts-friendly healthcare sector look like? Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, will chair a panel conversation with:

  • JP Swaine, Culture Transformation and Social Movement Leader within HSE Values in Action
  • Mary Grehan, CHI (Children’s Health Ireland) Public Art Curator
  • Siobhán Clancy, Community Arts Coordinator with Cork City Arts Office
  • Tom Meskell, Visual Artist

This is a free lunchtime event (1-2pm), taking place online via Zoom. Advance registration is essential.

Register here:

This online conversation forms part of the Arts and Health Conversation Series 2021, produced by and funded by the Arts Council and the HSE. is managed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust with the support of an Editorial Panel.


JP Swaine
JP Swaine is a trained psychotherapist and works as a Culture Transformation and Social Movement Leader within HSE Values in Action. He is the Co-Founder of First Fortnight mental health charity, which runs an annual arts festival and an art psychotherapy service. JP sits on the Editorial Panel. 

Mary Grehan
Mary Grehan is the Public Art Curator for Children’s Health Ireland. Previously she was Director of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust, Director of Tallaght Community Arts Centre and Curator of the National Maternity Hospital’s Centenary Arts Programme. Her Masters research was a comparative study between hospitals and galleries as sites for viewing art called Mind Where You Look. She has published widely in the field of arts in health and her debut novel was published by Penguin Ireland.

Mary has written two perspectives for, reflecting on the positioning of arts in health programmes in relation to healthcare organisations and the place of loss in arts and health.

Siobhán Clancy
Siobhán Clancy works at Cork City Arts Office as Community Arts Coordinator, assistant to the Arts Officer. She completed an MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at Maynooth University in 2014 with an additional module in Arts in Health at Canterbury Christ Church University in 2019. Prior to her current role, her participatory arts practice typically focused on themes related to health, education and social justice in youth, community and activist contexts.

Siobhán previously contributed a perspective to on Body Politics and Health Equality: Positioning Arts Practice in Contested Territories.

Tom Meskell
Tom Meskell is a visual artist and has specialised in arts in health contexts since 1998, following apprentice-style training in the USA with renowned practitioners Don Sunseri and Michael Grey. In Ireland, he was part of the Mayo County Council mentoring and networking programme for many years under the guidance of artist Deidre Walsh. For the last 23 years he has been part of the developing arts and health scene in Ireland, contributing regularly at conferences, peer to peer training and mentoring. Tom is currently artist in residence with CHI at Connolly Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Centre, via the ‘Wild Fires’ initiative.

Tom and filmmaker Róisín Loughrey were awarded the inaugural documentation bursary in 2013 to capture the arts programme at Sacred Heart Hospital in Castlebar, Co. Mayo which is facilitated by Tom. The award-winning The Room is the resulting film.

Claire Meaney
Claire Meaney is the Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust and has worked in the area of arts and health for the past 14 years. She has a BA in Fine Art from DIT (2002) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Youth Arts from NUI Maynooth (2006). In 2010, she completed an MA in Arts and Heritage Management at WIT and wrote her thesis on The Artist’s Perspective of Making Collaborative Art in a Hospital Context in Ireland.


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