The artsandhealth.ie emerging artist bursary affords time and space for an early career artist to reflect on their arts and health practice. We are delighted to announce that Áine Rose Connell, a visual artist and poet, has been awarded the inaugural bursary in 2022, which is funded by the HSE and the Arts Council.
Áine’s practice focuses on interrogating notions of identity by producing visual and poetic art unique to a specific individual or group of people. Exploring themes pertaining to memory, introspection, interpersonal relationships and communication, her artistic practice is informed by her background as a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist with the HSE.
Within the realm of Arts and Health, Áine’s work to date has included a social-portraiture project with older members of the community in 2021 to increase social participation and wellbeing, funded by Clare County Council. In 2020, she collaborated with a gentleman with early-onset Dementia by photographing him, mutually creating a printed collage of his portrait, documenting his oral history and collaboratively producing a poem ‘Boats’ that was read by him at his local Men’s Shed.
Áine has also used drawing and performance as tools to increase the self-expression of children presenting with a stammer in a group. This was not clinical in nature and incorporated drawing to explore notions of stammering and the facilitation of a performance of the children’s explorations.
By critically engaging with her own poetic practice, Áine hopes to deepen her standards in collaborative poetry methodology, form, content and structure. She will also reflect on how she can better harness her Speech & Language Therapy (SLT) skills within the realm of collaborative poetry in healthcare settings. SLTs have a unique ability to use counselling and supportive-communication skills with individuals who present with communication difficulties. Poetry can be a powerful tool to explore a changing sense of self which can hold significance in a healthcare setting. Áine envisions her dual enquiry will inform her engagement with individuals in healthcare contexts and commitment to working in an arts and health focused way.
Áine will share learning arising from the bursary with the wider arts and health community via artsandhealth.ie in early 2023.
To learn more about Áine’s practice visit aine-rose.com