Older People

We all benefit from the greater inclusion of older voices and perspectives in arts and society. At Uillinn older people are invited to take part in all aspects of our work and programmes as; arts workers, artists, audience, participants and managment.

Engagement in our programmes can give personal fulfilment, the creation of meaning, an opportunity for life-long learning, social linkages, celebration, communication, dignity, empowerment and wellbeing. See below for ways to take part:

Arts for an Active Mind
With Paul Cialis
Mondays 10.30am to 12.30pm
29 January to 27 May (ex. 5 February, 12 February, 18 March, 25 March, 1 April and 6 May) 2024
12 Sessions 
12 places
Fee: €50 

Arts for an Active Mind offers a relaxed and social approach exploring visual art for the over 50s. Activities include: painting, printing and meeting artists in residence at Uillinn. The facilitating artists take a combined approach of demonstration and practical application to explore visual art techniques and contemporary practices.

Arts for an Active Mind is a life long learning initiative supported by Cork Education and Training Board.

IN THE PICTURE - Dementia Friendly Gallery Programme
Dementia-friendly guided gallery tours exploring exhibitions at your local arts centre.
Next date TBC
These sessions are free but booking is essential they also include suitable refreshments.
You can book by emailing us at info@westcorkartscentre.com or calling us on 028 22090

Visual artist Sarah Ruttle with the assistance of Dementia Advisor Sarah Cairns invite people with dementia, their professional and /or family carers to visit an exhibition at Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre to look and experiment with others in a safe and welcoming environment. Each session includes a seated tour of the gallery where time is given to looking and experiencing the artwork and the many wonderful views from the building. Sessions might also include sharing of stories, singing, making of artwork in the workspace and a shared cup of tea and biscuit.

Our facilitators are very experienced in both care and arts professions. They create a warm atmosphere that encourages meaningful interactions where every person gets to enjoy the engagement at their own pace.

If you are thinking of coming along, you can talk through any ideas, thoughts or concerns with the facilitators before your visit.


Salt and Pepper

Salt and Pepper is a group of LGBTQ+ elders who met on the park benches of west Cork for the month of May. In June, we brought the collected stories into the workshop at Uillinn to create this exhibition. Artist Toma McCullim worked with her peers to create collective artworks which muse on our life journeys. The willow tree will bow but not break talks about acts of memorial. The red ribbons remind us of the tragic toll of AIDS took. Now hung on the tree in the Irish folk tradition they represent rituals of healing. This is the map started from a conversation about the young us that had no idea of what life would have in store as we grew older. I was the only lesbian I knew. There was no map...only... ‘beyond here be monsters’.

A new series of sessions are planned for spring 2023, so if you are interested in taking part, check socials, give us a call or email saltandpepper@westcorkartscentre.com


Eclectic Dance 

dates to be announced

Join community dance artist Andrew Coombs for a new series of dance class for those with no dance experience over the age of 50. Less effort, with a series of questions, provocations and ideas, dance artist Andrew Coombs invites you to dance as you wish in the gallery space of Uillinn. With an eclectic playlist from hip hop to classical via Afrika, Andrew says do less and enjoy more. 50+ dance is a session for the non dancer and every moving able body, there is no right way or steps to follow but an opportunity to surprise your body in the gallery surrounds.



Andrew Coombs is a community dance artist working for the last 25 years with the very young and lately with the not so Andrew was born in South Africa and has a background in clothing design and tailoring. He is artistic director of Adrenalindance and produces Hackney Children's theatre, a community theatre producing house in London UK. For the last 5 years Andrew has been facilitating dance with and for 50+ years and toddlers, the commonality being playful provocations to move, everybody can dance. Andrew is interested in fantastic living and dance as a fun, healthy, creative activity.


BEALTAINE at Uillinn

1 - 31 May - annually

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. 

The annual Bealtaine exhibition comprises a selection of work created on the Arts for Health Programme and Arts for an Active Mind participants. 

To find out about our work with Day Care Centres and Community Hospitals please see here

Art you an artist over 50 and seeking studio time to explore new work? To find out how to be our Bealtaine Artist in Residence see HERE


Image: Arts For An Active Mind Bealtaine, May 2017. Photograph: Kevin O'Farrell
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