WCAC believes that, regardless of our age, it our right to participate in the artistic and cultural life of our country in whatever way we may choose. The form of participation will be different for each individual. For some, it will be an opportunity to engage directly with an art form: to learn techniques, explore ideas and create new work. For others, it will be an opportunity to engage with the work of others: to watch, listen, enjoy and be challenged by new perspectives and modes of expression. For some the honing of artistic skills and the satisfaction that derives from finished work will be the most important elements of the experience, while for others, it will be the personal journey undertaken during the creative process, with no product at all.
Whatever mode of participation is chosen, the arts experience on offer should be meaningful and of highest possible quality.
WCAC believes that we can all benefit from the greater inclusion of older voices and perspectives in the arts, and that the benefits for participants include personal fulfilment, the creation of meaning, an opportunity for life-long learning, social linkages, celebration, communication, dignity and self-esteem, empowerment and maintaining and improving health.
For further information on programmes with Day Care Centres and Community Hospitals please see Here
Arts for an Active Mind
Monday 21 January – Monday 29 April
(excluding Monday 18 March, Monday 25 March and Easter Monday 1 April 2013)
Mondays 10.30pm – 12.30pm
Tuesday 22 January to Tuesday 30 April (excluding Tuesday 19 March, Tuesday 26 March and Tuesday 2 April), 12 sessions,
Tuesdays 7.00pm to 9.00pm
Min 8 max 14 participants
Fee € 90
Arts for an Active Mind offers a relaxed and social approach to participants of all abilities over 55 years interested in exploring visual arts. The facilitating artists take a combined approach of demonstration and practical application to explore visual art techniques and contemporary practices. Participants are encouraged to take on a different theme to investigate each term and are guided in ways to look for inspiration.
To support the regular workshops the group are invited to take part in other programmes at West Cork Arts Centre such as events, tours and one off workshops as part of their investigations into what motivates contemporary visual arts practice and encouraged to exhibit their work.
Some basic materials are provided, however participants are encouraged to purchase most of their own materials. Tea/coffee facilities are available.
Arts for an Active Mind offers a relaxed and social approach to participants of all abilities over 55 years interested in exploring visual arts.
The recent Dermot Seymour Project, as part of the ongoing Arts for an Active Mind (AFAM) programme, was a great opportunity for the two AFAM groups to come together, focus on and interact with the work of a contemporary Irish artist ‘in the flesh’ and within a gallery environment.
The groups visited Dermot Seymour - Selected Paintings 1987-2012 at West Cork Arts Centre (WCAC) to see this retrospective of the artist’s work.
A useful and detailed information pack was provided by the gallery and, following much discussion about the artist’s life and work, the group took some time in the space to study in detail and make preparatory sketches of some images and themes involved which would later be used to inform artworks to be produced in the studio.
From early on it was decided that scale was an important part of the Seymour works and with that in mind the group elected to produce large scale paintings on canvas in the painter’s tradition, yet working collaboratively, with four artists participating on each canvas. This was an unusual and challenging process to have chosen, but it was felt that with different minds and hands working on single paintings it may help to capture something of that sense of odd juxtaposition present in many of the Seymour pieces.
Paintings took four weeks to complete and what was produced is quite remarkable. The works have a vivid, almost stained glass appearance and include elements of surrealism, cubism, pop-art and graphic collage that combine to make works of maturity, yet have the confidence to contain elements of wit.
Participant Reactions to the Project
‘The first time we saw his (Dermot Seymour) work we thought, how are we going to work from this, it was so different’
‘Dermot Seymour’s art work got a strong reaction from us, it was dark and quite powerful, I admired the rawness, but did find some of it quite upsetting’
‘I found working large scale quite thrilling’
‘We had to jointly decide on the placement of the animals, so it made sense as an image. We tried to be considerate for everyone having their say, definitely a different way of working than we have done before’
‘There was great pleasure in the challenge of working together, having a laugh, making a nuisance of ourselves, squabbling over the colours’
The Bakery Project
Exhibition 22 May – 25 June, West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen
This project began in 2011 with the creation of a series of paintings based on an AFAM field trip. In 2012 a book was designed and published to documents the artwork created during this significant project that took place over 16 weeks following the demolition of Wolfe's Bakery in December 2010. The project reflected on the past, present and future of the Wolfe's Bakery site in Skibbereen, the planned location for West Cork Arts Centre's new building development.
Steve Redmond, Oceans7 swimmer and local champion opened the exhibition and launched the book at West Cork Hotel, during May as part of the Bealtaine celebrations.
Prior to the momentous demolition the participants took a field trip down to the site to visually record the present condition of the building, with the knowledge that that moment would soon represent the past. Many of the group had vivid memories of the place when it was a functioning bakery, having worked or connected with the place, as it played a considerable role in the vibrant market town. Recollection of the past and discussion of how the space might be developed in the future, informed a series of paintings by the participants. Significantly, the work created echoed that present, single moment they experienced during their visit.
The book can be purchased on-line in hardback form or as an e-book for download.
West Cork Bealtaine
WCAC participated in Bealtaine, the national event organised by Age and Opportunity to celebrate creativity in older age though an annual celebration of its year round activities. The theme for this year’s Bealtaine was ’What kind of old do you want to be?’ and it being also the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
Three key programme activities were Bealtaine Art Trail, Bealtaine Film Tour and Bealtaine Tea Dance.
In addition to the programme activities, WCAC’S Education & Community Coordinator, Justine Foster was invited to speak about WCAC programme for Older People at a regional event Bealtaine organised by Age and Opportunity, held at Cork City Hall as an example of good practice.
Justine Foster was also invited to a residential weekend at Tyrone Guthrie Centre by Age & Opportunity to share her work with peers and explore new ways of working with older people.
She also represented WCAC at the national Bealtaine conference Creating a New Old, http://bealtaine.com/conference delivering a presentation on her work with Older People.
West Cork Bealtaine Art Trail
1 – 31 May, 2012
Cork County Council Library and Arts Services working in partnership with West Cork Arts Centre, Health Service Executive and West Cork Older Peoples Network host this annual event in local libraries and public spaces. Organised through a Bealtaine working group, this exhibition has gone through many themes since its inception four years ago. This year it was decided to throw caution to the wind and make it open submission, so all art and craft work created in the past year by older people in west Cork, be it individually or as part of a group, was exhibited, showing the broad range of creative accomplishments by older people in the region.
The Arts for an Active Mind group were well represented this year having been particularly busy. They showed work in three separate locations in Skibbereen. The first of these was at Drinagh Co-op Café where a range of their recent artworks was exhibited, representing the personal interests of the participants. The second was Flourish, a remarkable, large-scale collaborative felt-work made through a felt-making project with artist Caoimhe Pendred, at Skibbereen Library and the third was The Bakery Project at the West Cork Hotel.
Bealtaine Film Tour
Tuesday 29 May
WCAC took part in the ACCESS Cinema co-ordinated national Film Tour programme. West Cork Arts Centre participated by hosting two of the films selected for the tour.
Last Chance Harvey (lunchtime screening, 1.00pm)
My House in Umbria (Evening screening 7.00pm)
Bealtaine Tea Dance
This annual celebration was held at Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway, with record breaking numbers. The event is a great social and information sharing event with singing dancing and performance.
Justine Foster and Anita O’Donovan gave a short presentation about the AfH Day Care Centre Arts Programme and exhibited some of the work created through the programme.