Monthly Archives: December 2011

Lucia Barnes presenting the Pecha Kucha workshop at Dialogues # 2 in Limerick

The Pecha Kucha presentation format is a very successful method for showcasing work from different art practices. With each presenter being tied to approximately 6 minutes to show 20 slides, the presentations are kept succinct and fast paced, yet allow the audience a glimpse or flavour of the work and methodologies. In the eight presentations, there was great variety across artforms, concepts and approaches among the Arts in Health practitioners. I’ve synopsized them as follows:

_    A wry perspective on the fundamental and visceral aspects of human physiology

_    Looking through the darkness of the deep hole; Identity as a mask in the portrait

_    Considering one’s place in the world, biscuit fired porcelain and the fragility of life

_    Memory/reverie and what sort of space does loss fill

_    Recovering mental health patients choosing to do art, and whether sometimes they are left open to critiscm from the public

_    What does it mean to be viscerally alive?

_    How to make art without being messy/memories of dough

_    Feeling good and releasing passion with primal screaming.

When introducing the Pecha Kucha Workshop I was keen that artists would feel comfortable to raise any concerns around their practice, such as unresolved areas of projects and challenges, as well as their more completed work. In the lively discussion that followed, there were plenty of questions around the ownership of work, negotiations with partners, professionals and institutions, and the vulnerability of participants. It was decided that some of these interesting issues could be further teased out at the follow up Peer Critiques Session scheduled for Dialogue # 3 in November 2011.


Jennie Moran, contributing artist to the Dialogue sessions, talks about the workshop she gave

Arts in health practitioners can get to worrying about how their practice will fit into a healthcare facility; what if the staff aren’t accommodating; what if a participant has an unexpected reaction. Sometimes they even get to advocating the health benefits of bringing artworks into a situation (certainly a theory worth investigating). But before we get involved with defending ourselves to people who are not fighting with us, it is worth taking a moment to define, understand, invest in, and celebrate the unique cultural contribution that is an art practice. I wanted the workshop to act as an opportunity to do this. I offered everyone a booklet with slightly tricky questions about their individual art practices and we made some Arts in Heath fashion accessories (badges). There was a lovely sense of thrashing things out together.

Learn more about Jenny’s practice @