Writer Sylvia Cullen was awarded an artsandhealth.ie artist bursary in 2020 to reflect on her 14-year creative writing residency at Killagoley Training & Activation Centre (KTAC) in Enniscorthy. Participants came from Wexford Mental Health Adult Services and were part of the Arts Ability programme, funded by the HSE, the Arts Council and Wexford County Council.

Developing an artistic relationship with participants over this many years, a rarity in arts and health practice, has led to compelling insights and a rich body of artistic work, now captured in Sylvia’s audio reflection, Volcano Days in the Writing Room.

KTAC is attached to the former psychiatric hospital, St Senan’s. Sylvia’s residency (2006-2019) took place during extraordinary changes in the mental health system including the closure of the hospital. In Sylvia’s words, this reflection is the ‘untold story of how, despite all the pressures of mental illness, creativity flourished and thrived in the shadow of what used to be called “the Asylum”.’

The artsandhealth.ie 2020 artist bursary was awarded to artists working in arts and health contexts to reflect on their practice. The bursary is funded by the HSE and the Arts Council.


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