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This section hosts a variety of audio recordings produced for and by the arts and health community.

Volcano Days in the Writing Room by Sylvia Cullen

5 May 2021

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.

When you asked us to look: The world of Open Gallery

12 November 2019

Delivering an art project in an acute setting for people with dementia and other age-related conditions can bring unique rewards and challenges. This podcast explores the Open Gallery art viewing programme at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) from the viewpoint of the healthcare staff, artists and participants involved.

Open Gallery was established in 2018 by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), an arts organisation based at UHW. The project invites people living with dementia primarily, but not exclusively, and their family members / carers, to look at, discuss and enjoy paintings from the hospital’s art collection in a safe and welcoming space. There are two strands to Open Gallery: the first, which is the focal point of this podcast, is for patients at UHW; the second strand is for people living with dementia in the community and takes place at the WHAT Centre for Arts & Health on the hospital campus.

Mind-Reading 2017: Mental Health and the Written Word

20 October 2018

Mind-Reading 2017 was a one-day programme of talks and workshops at dlr Lexicon seeking to explore productive interactions between literature and mental health both historically and in the present day. Bringing together psychologists, psychiatrists, interdisciplinary professionals, GPs, service users, and historians of literature and medicine, the conference aimed to identify the roles that writing and narrative can play in medical education, patient and self-care, and/or professional development schemes.

Mind-Reading 2017 was organised by Dr. Elizabeth Barrett (UCD Child and Adolescent Psychiatry) and Dr. Melissa Dickson (University of Birmingham with the Diseases of Modern Life Project at St Anne’s College, Oxford).


Tiny Kind Gestures

29 January 2018

During the summer months of 2016, artist Tess Leak and designer Orlagh O’Brien of Haiku Island Press attended the Renal Unit at Cork University Hospital. Collaborating with 24 patients during dialysis, they created a collection of haiku-inspired poetry. In September 2017, Tess and Orlagh invited seven diverse voices from the town of Skibbereen and surrounding area to read aloud the entire collection of Haiku poems ‘Tiny Kind Gestures’.

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In 2017 – Keynote conversation between Mark Storor and Patrick Fox chaired by Ailbhe Murphy

1 July 2017

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In 2017 took place on 5 May at The Model, Sligo. The Inspiring Strand featured a keynote conversation between artist and theatre maker Mark Storor and Patrick Fox from Heart of Glass chaired by Ailbhe Murphy from Create.

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In 2017 – Showcasing Strand

29 June 2017

Arts and Health Check Up, Check In 2017 took place on 5 May at The Model, Sligo. The Showcasing Strand featured paired presentations by three partnerships: The Creative Well: Emma Finucane (Visual Artist) and Catherine O’Grady (HSE mental health division); 15 Miles: Bernie Austin (Director of Nursing, Community Nursing Units in Galway City and East County) and Ceara Conway (Visual Artist and Singer); and Care: Dr Regina McQuillan (Palliative Medicine Consultant St Francis Hospice), Sophie Motley and Sarah Jane Shiels (Willfredd Theatre). The presentations were followed by a Q&A chaired by Claire Meaney, Acting Arts Director of the Waterford Healing Arts Trust.

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