Bealtaine 2022

Bealtaine Exhibition
May 5 to June 4
In association with Age & Opportunity’s Bealtaine Festival 2022 - Ireland’s national celebration of the arts and creativity as we age

Arts for Health partnership programme is based in West Cork and provides a managed arts programme for older people in healthcare settings since 2005. Managed by Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre, Arts for Health runs all year round and is delivered by a team of professional artists from different disciplines.

This exhibition comprises a selection of work created on the Arts for Health Programme over the last two years, when the programme pivoted to provide postal and online projects to reach out to older people staying safe at home or residential care.

The exhibition also features new work by Arts for an Active Mind with ceramic artist Ayelat Lalor. Arts for an Active Mind is a weekly session facilitated by Paul Cialis that takes place at Uillinn on Monday mornings for over 15 years. Over two sessions the group explored food and the memories associated to create this evocative and playful series of ceramic works on plates.

Ways & Means - Artists Michael Greenlaw and Bénédicte Coleman
Skibbereen, Dunmanway and Castletownbere Day Care Centres

This project invited over 200 Day Care Centre clients across West Cork to correspond with artists Michael Greenlaw and Bénédicte Coleman during the Covid 19 pandemic. The aim was to keep people connected by sharing stories and artwork which were then posted back to the artists. In turn the artists wrote back to the participants discussing the artwork, stories, letters and reflecting on the ways and means by which things were once done a little differently to now.

Botanical Human Hybrid - Artist Ida Mitrani
Arts for Health Learning Residency at Uillinn

From a studio at Uillinn, artist Ida Mitrani designed a creative kit to be mailed to five older people isolating at home under the mentorship from artist Sarah Ruttle. Drawing on her studio practice each kit invited participants to capture a memory of the present era using an environment of textures that reflects the diversity and adaptability of life and considers a possible new understanding of a ‘clean landscape’ where plastic is incorporated in nature.

The Heart’s Song - Artist Sharon Dipity
Bringing Art Home in West Cork

The Heart’s Song was one of six projects from the Bringing Art Home Programme 2020 - 2022. Bringing Art Home responded to the closure of Day Care Centres and the need to find a new way to connect culturally and socially with older people staying safe at home.

Little Light Pocket Theatre - Artists Sharon Dipity & Sarah Ruttle
Clonakilty, Schull, Skibbereen Community Hospitals and St. Josephs Unit Bantry General Hospital

Little Light Pocket Theatre was created for older people who were required to stay at home during the Covid 19 pandemic. The project originally took place over March and April 2021 in the Community Hospitals of West Cork via a series of five postal packages and weekly online workshops with participants.

Time in Our Lives - Artist Sarah Ruttle
Bantry, Dunmanway, Schull and Skibbereen Community Hospitals

Four parcels, four books…..
Time in Our Lives
is a project designed by artist Sarah Ruttle, which took place remotely in four Community Hospitals during the Covid 19 pandemic.

Food and Memories - Artist Ayelet Lalor
Arts for an Active Mind, Ceramic artworks exhibited are by Eily May Connolly, Mary O'Shea, Kay O'Brien, Kathleen Cleary, June Collins, Sheila Whooley, Sadie Sweetnam, Margaret Tallant Murphy, Valerie Stevenson, Anne Hurley and Paul Cialis

At Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre we host a weekly group to explore creativity offering a relaxed and social approach to exploring visual art for the over 50s. 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.


The exhibtion was curated by Phoebe Cotton, who is currently working with the Arts for Health team on research and development of the Partnership Programme.

Bealtaine is Ireland’s national festival which celebrates the arts and creativity as we age. The festival is run by Age & Opportunity, the leading national development organisation working to enable the best possible quality of life for us all as we age.

Age & Opportunity Arts provides opportunities for older people to be more creative more often, to create meaningful participation and representation for all older people in cultural and creative life and to demonstrate and celebrate how our creative potential can improve with age


WCAC acknowledges the financial support of Arts Council Ireland and Cork County Council in making these exhibitions possible.
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