Tuesday 21 November 2023


10am - 1pm


Project Room, Level 3, dlr LexIcon, Dún Laoghaire


Free, booking required

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office is hosting a free sharing session for healthcare professionals and artists interested in dementia inclusive arts activity on 21 November at dlr LexIcon.

Come and hear about the opportunities and experiences of this arts practice from a range of experts, as they share their first-hand experiences with you. Tea/Coffee and a light lunch will be provided.

This sharing session is funded by Creative Ireland’s Creativity in Older Age Scheme 2023.


  • Sarah Cairns: Activities Director, Bantry General Hospital, and specialist in dementia care
  • Emma Eager: Project Co-ordinator, Réalta – National Body for Arts and Health
  • Órla Goodwin and Claire Halpin: Visual artists with extensive dementia inclusive arts experience.

This is a free event but booking is required:

About the Speakers

Sarah Cairns has been working with people with dementia for over 20 years. Since 2007 she has worked nationally as a Dementia & Communication Educator and Training Consultant. She has a diploma in Older People in Dance and Person-Centred Dementia Care from the University of Surrey and holds a masters in Dementia Studies UCC. Since 2015 she sits on the steering committee of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme, West Cork, for which she also acts as dementia advisor.  She has devised and leads a 7-step education programme for artists working in care settings. As an Activities Director she has welcomed and worked with many artists from the Arts for Health Programme in this care setting since 2015. She is particularly interested in finding ways to support people who live in care settings to achieve agency, empowerment and connection through culture, meaning making and creative activities.

Emma Eager has worked in the field of arts and health since 2011 and is currently Project Co-ordinator with Réalta, the National Body for Arts and Health in Ireland. Emma manages, the national resource website for arts and health, and co-ordinates Expanding Arts in Healthcare, a partnership programme with the HSE, Department of Health (Healthy Ireland Programme), the Arts Council and the Creative Ireland Programme. She previously worked with Helium Arts, the national children’s arts and health organisation, as a programme co-ordinator and project manager.

Órla Goodwin is a Dublin based visual artist, learning and public engagement curator and visual art facilitator. She has worked on learning and public engagement designing programmes, project spaces, facilitating tours and workshops with DLR LexIcon, Dublin City Council and Draíocht Blanchardstown and is the Learning and Public Engagement Curator at Temple Bar Gallery + Studios. Orla is an experienced facilitator with Azure, a programme created for people living with dementia and their carer’s, mediating visual art and VTS (Visual Thinking Strategies) gallery tour facilitation. In 2022 she co curated a dual location dementia inclusive exhibition with fellow Azure facilitators Claire Halpin and Julie Merriman, at the Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda and DLR LexIcon Gallery, Dún Laoghaire. A Collection of Conversations – included artworks from both organisations’ collections, put into a visual dementia friendly conversation with each other.

Claire Halpin is a Dublin born and based visual artist, curator and arts educator. In her role as arts educator and facilitator over many years, Claire has worked with a wide range of groups from primary school, secondary school, university, adults and older years in a range of settings from school, gallery, museum to community and online platforms. She is a highly experienced Azure facilitator- a slow enquiry based approach to looking at artworks designed for people living with dementia and their carers. Claire has facilitated many Azure programmes both in gallery, online and in care settings. Including in 2022 A Collection of Conversations – selecting artworks from DLRCoCo Collection and Highlanes Gallery Collections and co-curating two specifically designed and programmed dementia inclusive exhibition at Highlanes Gallery and Municipal Gallery, DLR Lexicon. Currently engaged in research project with DLR Arts Office in care settings developing a multisensory approach to Azure sessions.


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