Artists work with a healthcare community over a number of months in a sustained engagement on our Artist in Residence programme.
Fireflies, our current artist-in-residence project (2015-2018), is for teenagers in hospital transitioning to adult care. The project investigates how the arts can support transition by promoting independence, decision making skills, communication skills and improved self-esteem. Artist Rachel Tynan and the teenagers work together as equals to develop new work that focuses on the teenagers’ interests rather than on their illness, whilst also encouraging them to take control of the creative process.
Phase 1 took place in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, between February and June 2016 and acted as a research and development phase where the artist and teenagers began to explore the theme of transition.
Cloudlands is an arts and technology project designed for young people aged 12-18 who have to spend long periods of time in hospital, often in wards with much younger children and with little in the way of creative stimulation. Taking place from 2012-2015, artists in residence collaborated with teenagers over a nine-month period each year developing new artworks based on their ideas, interests and experiences. The project took place in Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, Cork University Hospital and University Hospital Galway.
Story Dress is a storytelling and technology performance project for children in hospital which ran from 2013 to 2014 at a children’s hospital in Dublin. This project revolved around a uniquely designed interactive storytelling dress which has in-built lighting effects and an embedded soundscape, activating music and sound effects as artists Eléonore Nicolas and Fiona Dowling told children stories on the wards.
During our first residency programme, the Puppet Portal Project (2009-2010), young people created puppets and shared their stories, performances and short films with peers in other hospitals via Áit Eile, an online live video-link facility developed by the Centre for Health Informatics at Trinity College, Dublin. The project sought to help counter the isolation that children can feel when they are hospitalized by connecting them to a wider community in a shared creative conversation. The Puppet Portal Project took place in 7 hospitals across Ireland and was recognised by the Neurological Alliance of Ireland (2010 Innovation Award nominee) and The Allianz Business to Arts Awards (2010 Best Use of Creativity, highly commended).