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Keeping Visible

Keeping Visible
2 – 14 October
South Stairwell and Link Gallery

Here at Uillinn, we believe that everyone benefits from the greater inclusion of older voices and perspectives in the arts. The benefits for participants range from 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.

An exhibition in the Link Corridor and Stairwell Gallery of artwork selected from West Cork Arts Centre’s two pivotal provisions for older people are Arts for an Active Mind and Arts for Health.

Arts for an Active Mind takes place each Monday morning with workspace with artists Paul Cialis. Paul takes a combined approach of demonstration and practical application to explore visual art techniques and contemporary practices. In addition to the regular workshops everyone is invited to events, tours, visits and one off workshops as part of their investigations into what motivates contemporary visual arts practice. Artwork on exhibit is by Kay O’Brien, Mary O’Callaghan, Sheelagh Whooley, Frances O’Toole, Sadie Sweetnam, Eileen Glanton, Eily May Connolly, Valerie Stephenson and Mary O’Shea

Seven Willow lights are by residents in Clonakilty Community Hospital created over six weeks with artists Sharon Dipity and Sarah Ruttle. ‘Participants worked individually and together and seemed to really enjoy working with this natural material which was familiar to them. One participant recalled thatching rooves with her father. The group really rose to the challenge of manipulating and forming the willow into a variety of shapes and responding to the nature of the material'.

The Printing Project by residents in Dunmanway Community Hospital with artist Sharon Dipity. The collagraphs shown here were created by gluing a variety of materials onto cardboard to create a relief printing block which is then varnished to enable the block to be used several times. Some of these blocks were been printed over a collage of painted paper created by the participants specifically for this purpose. Images are by Jack O’Donovan, Carmel Barnes, Nellie Cullinene, Sheila ONeill.

In the Company of Friends
"I really enjoyed it. It passed the time. I like the company too."  "...and I like the company",
"We all became friends"

A conversation at the close of a session where the project title was born. Residents of Castletownbere Community Hospital were introduced to various painting techniques by artist Sharon Dipity in this six week project. Participants were encouraged to work intuitively, drawing on their own experiences and taking inspiration from Beara artist Frieda Meaney whose work was on exhibit at Uillinn at this time. The project was a continuation of layered art works (‘Emerging stories’) that Sharon developed with artist Sarah Ruttle in 2015.

Conor's Catch
During 2016 Colm Rooney and Sarah Ruttle worked with residents at Clonakilty Hospital to create a short animated film depicting an imaginative life story of Nora and Conor. This collaborative project was an opportunity for all participants to get involved in all aspects of the production from narrative writing and making the imagery to choosing the music and sound to illustrate the story. The manual work of editing was completed each week by Colm with progress presented each week so all could see their work evolve week on week and give their editorial directions.

In Yonder Garden Grows
People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us!, Iris Murdoch, writer
During the spring and summer of 2016, connecting participants in Castletownbere, Clonakilty and Bantry Hospitals, artist Tess Leak collaborated on a poetry, music and flowers project. Each week Tess took in armfuls of flowers from The Glebe Gardens in Baltimore to inspire lively and thoughtful conversations that lead to the making of these poems. Musician Liz Clark brought flower-themed songs into the sessions and, that winter, Tess worked with designer Orlagh O’Brien from Haiku Island Press to create by hand this limited edition book.

The World is Flowing by, Glass etching, May 2015
Early Birds artist group working with Michael Ray

Participants working on both these projects were presented with many challenges to achieve this work and so worth noting the enormity of their accomplishments. The artists worked both one to one with people, and in groups, bringing a specific set of skills to enable such creative ambition under challenging circumstances.

Arts for Health is a partnership programme based in West Cork implementing a managed arts programme for older people in healthcare settings. The partners are West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council, Cork Education & Training Board and the HSE. The HSE is represented through the Cork Arts + Health Programme, the Health Promotion Department, the Nursing Directors of Community Hospitals and the Day Care Centres, West Cork.

For information on Arts for Health Partnership Programme go to www.artsforhealthwestcork.com or go see our video https://vimeo.com/81618736

Images: Keeping Visible exhibition, Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre, photo Kevin O Farrell, Image courtesy of Uillinn: West Cork Arts Centre
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