Checking In 2021: Clockwise from left: Justin Grounds

Checking In is back! The 2021 edition will bring the arts and health community in Ireland together on Tuesday 30 November to reflect, to share practice and experiences, and to look forward in the particular context of the Covid-19 era. Led by, which is managed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust, this online event is a spin-off of the annual Arts & Health: Check Up Check In. 

Checking In 2021 is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.

Who is this event for? 
Healthcare professionals, arts practitioners and anyone interested in learning more about the exciting field of arts and health.

What to expect 
Checking In 2021 will feature performances by Justin Grounds, composer and violinist with Arts for Health West Cork, and leading examples of new arts and health practice for the current pandemic era, including:

Presentations will be followed by A Sensual Life, a workshop for all attendees. Writer and dance artist Lani O’Hanlon will encourage participants to cherish their imagination, sensuality and playfulness through creative writing.

Our arts and health community in Ireland is made up of extraordinary people. The past 18 months have been so tough for everyone, but our community has demonstrated great depths of resourcefulness, passion and commitment in continuing to support people who are unwell – and their healthcare staff – in new and creative ways. We are thrilled to present some beautiful examples of projects which have taken place within the constraints of the pandemic and hope that this will inspire attendees in their practice. – Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust

Details & Registration 
Online via Zoom
Date: Tuesday 30 November
Time: 11am-1:15pm
Register here:


Aoise Tutty Jackson
Aoise Tutty Jackson is an award-winning director, visual artist and facilitator working in the industry for over 12 years. She is passionately committed to using the art of storytelling to make films that deliver empowering and visceral messages. Her work explores themes of mental health, feminine identity, intergenerational trauma and the mystical.

Project: Tune In with The Happiness Ensemble
Tune in with The Happiness Ensemble is a multidisciplinary collaboration between filmmakers Aoise Tutty Jackson and Maggie Ryan with members of the 49 North Street community in Skibbereen and MusicAlive. 49 North Street is a dedicated creativity and wellbeing hub led by Cork Mental Health Services. ‘The project was a response to Covid-19 restrictions with a focus on sound, music and ‘Tuning In’. Working closely with improvised musical group The Happiness Ensemble, MusicAlive and composer Liam McCabe, we produced a film using original audio and recordings, compositions and images.’


Joe Brennan
Storyteller, writer, theatre maker and facilitator Joe Brennan has told his stories and led storytelling workshops throughout Ireland and beyond for more than 20 years.  In March 2021, Joe told stories over the phone to older people living in County Wexford as part of his Tale-a-Phone Exchange project, supported by Wexford County Council. Joe also writes theatre for young audiences, he is the author of Donegal Folk Tales, and his stories are included in The Anthology of Irish Folk Tales.  He delivers creative writing workshops as part of the Arts Ability programme, funded by Wexford County Council Arts Office and the HSE. Joe was the 2021 Artist in Residence at WHAT/University Hospital Waterford.

Presentation: Adventures in Storytelling
Joe will talk about the challenges and rewards of his artist residency at WHAT/UHW, and his work delivering the creative writing strand of the Arts Ability Programme, for people who experience long term mental health issues, delivered through Killagoley Training and Activation Centre (KTAC) in County Wexford: ‘My aim as Artist in Residence was to offer staff at University Hospital Waterford opportunities to encounter and engage with traditional storytelling. This involved posting stories online for staff to enjoy, a weekly live interactive session outdoors called the Storytelling Lounge, and an opportunity to develop their skills to ‘Tell the Tale’ through a 12 week storytelling project. With the easing of some restrictions, I have also been bringing storytelling to the Paediatric Ward at UHW.’


Manuela Corbari
Manuela Corbari is an artist and filmmaker, lectures in Editing at GMIT on the BA (Hons) Film and Documentary course, and has directed and edited documentaries and short films. Manuela has been an associate artist with Baboró International Arts Festival for Children, and has devised two theatre plays for young audiences. Her favourite part of her work is the collaborative aspect of creative development. Manuela has been collaborating with artist Sarah Fuller on various projects since 2015.

Sarah Fuller
Sarah is a visual artist and puppeteer and founding member of Dog and String Theatre. Her practice is often collaborative or involves a participatory process, incorporating, drawing, illustration, puppetry, animation, and storytelling. Sarah holds a BA (Hons) in Textile Design and an MA in Visual Arts Practice. A Creative Associate with the Arts Council, she is also an Associate Artist with Helium Arts and on the artist panel with Kids’ Own Publishing Partnership.

Project: A Bird at My Window and Other Stories
A Bird at My Window and Other Stories is a project by artists Sarah Fuller and Manuela Corbari for children and their families in hospital settings.  Developed through participatory engagements with young patients and their families at University Hospital Galway, the project was initially conceived as a series of intimate performances incorporating puppetry, storytelling, and shadow play.  It was later adapted in response to the pandemic to become a tabletop version to support family play across the five Paediatric Units of Saolta University Health Care Group and three hospitals of Children’s Health Ireland. A Bird at My Window is part of The Deepest Shade of Green, an Arts and Health programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture, commissioned by Saolta Arts and Galway 2020.


Dr Paul Hartel
Dr Paul Hartel is lead consultant pathologist at Sligo University Hospital and is also an accomplished visual artist. He paints in abstract styles and has exhibited in major cities worldwide. Paul serves as liaison between the Model Art Gallery in Sligo and Sligo University Hospital in their ongoing Creative Art Project.

‘As consultant physician at Sligo University Hospital, I have acted as liaison between Sligo University Hospital and The Model in their recent creative art project with gifted artist Andy Parsons. Prior to the Covid pandemic, patients and hospital staff participated and thoroughly enjoyed art workshops with Andy and created some of their own artworks and postcards. He currently has a solo exhibition of his work at The Model titled Patience and further workshops and online engagement and an arts and health symposium are planned. Feedback has been heart-warmingly positive and this wonderful project will continue to progress & inspire!

For this presentation, Paul will reference his role, the challenges of the project due to COVID, how they were overcome and the future of the arts programme at Sligo.


Lani O’Hanlon 
Lani O’ Hanlon is an award-winning poet, writer and movement artist working in arts and health with Waterford Healing Arts Trust. Lani also works with Waterford City and County Arts Office, Waterford City and County Libraries and The Molly Keane House. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and is the author of Dancing the Rainbow: Holistic WellBeing Through Movement and The Little Theatre (poetry). Lani’s poetry has been published in various journals including Poetry Ireland Review, Poetry, Southward, The Stinging Fly, Orbis, Abridged and Mslexia, in addition to various anthologies including Bloodaxe’s Staying Human, Vanguard’s 14 and The Munster Literature’s Pandemia.  She has also been published in The Irish Times and regularly broadcasts on Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1. Lani’s poetry films with director Fiona Aryan have been selected for the Zebra Film Festival in Berlin and they were the first Irish winner of the Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Festival.

Workshop: A Sensual Life

I look up…and discover the sea,
exactly the same blue I used to
paint it with my watercolours as a child.

Cherish your imagination, sensuality and playfulness through creative writing. For this hour, participants will slow down, rest and come more fully into the body, accepting where and how we are in the moment as part of life and our creative practice and process. Then, in a relaxed and easy way, we will write through the senses, evoking the simplicity, mystery and magic of a child with crayons.


Justin Grounds – performance
Justin Grounds is a violinist, composer and music producer based in West Cork.  Having studied baroque violin in his home town of Cambridge, UK, Justin went on to study music at Durham University, majoring in electroacoustic composition. His Passacaglia Apis for baroque violin and string orchestra won the inaugural composers prize at the East Cork Early Music Festival in 2014 and was performed by Elizabeth Wallfisch.  Justin has produced five solo records and performs with Barefoot Baroque, the Vespertine Quintet and as a soloist.  He has been on the Arts for Health team in West Cork for six years, working as a resident composer in local community hospitals. Justin composed the interactive score for the Stories from the Well Field puppet performance which was presented in Waterford Healing Arts Trust in 2019.

Updated 23 November 2021 


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