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Annette Moloney and Lucia Barnes facilitating the Peer Critiques Sessions at Dialogues #3 in Limerick

As part of the Dialogue Arts + Health Project, three artists presented work from their art practice at the third Dialogues session in Limerick on 13th November 2011. The spacious and interesting former church, used by the Daghdha Dance Company, was an ideal location for the three presentations that took place, since each took on a different format.

The possibility for a peer critique slot was introduced from the commencement of the Dialogues sessions in September and proved to be an invaluable opportunity for testing the direction of current uncompleted work. Artists can often find themselves isolated, with difficult issues to tackle and negotiate, even when working within various institutions. The peer critiques provided a forum for teasing out some unresolved questions and ideas, within the work, in an honest and open environment.

The artists presented the work without comment. Tanya O Keefe showed three short DVDs with an emphasis on, among other things, various aspects of rhythm- an energetic skater negotiates her way around and through the many hoops and challenges of a playground; we see the visceral, yet sensuous aspect of someone massaging feet; we hear the sound of sleep, in the third, a sound only piece.

Twenty five of us sat around two long tables, while John McHarg read a poem, and passed around three objects which form part of a myriad of items, from a project he is working on with artist Marie Brett,  – a glass test tube, a small colourful plastic figure placed within the test tube, and a singles cover from the fifties with a picture of Killarney. They were interested in hearing our comments on their connectivity

Siobhán Wilmott displayed eight posters broaching the difficult topic of suicide, on three tables. We were encouraged to write a comment on these as we silently filed around and studied them.

The audience gave their feedback after each presentation. First, with an initial response, followed by much discussion and ponderings.

All varied art practices with different thought provoking subject matter.

Learn more about the artists presenting at the Dialogue Sessions @ https://dialogueartsandhealth.wordpress.com/artists/

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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 @ http://www.jenniemoran.com/

 

National | Dialogue Arts + Health

RUA RED, Tallaght, Dublin – Tuesday 6 December 2011

National | Dialogue Arts + Health is a one-day event which aims to explore shared outlooks for arts and health practice in Ireland. The event will be of interest to artists, arts organisations, health professionals, health service users, and others interested in the area of arts and health practice.

National | Dialogue Arts + Health invites delegates to reflect on the challenges and opportunities of partnership and collaboration in healthcare contexts, and will explore questions such as:

–       What are the characteristics of the partnerships and collaborations that are happening in arts and health practice?

–       How do we balance the priorities of arts practice with the priorities of the healthcare sector?

–       How do we explore the ethical questions around the ownership of artworks developed in healthcare settings?

–       Is it possible to further encourage and facilitate creative risk taking in arts and health practice in Ireland?

–       How do we cultivate leadership in the area of arts and health practice in Ireland?

There is a fee of €20 for organisations, and €10 for individuals. Places are limited and must be booked in advance. Online booking: http://www.ruared.ie/national_dialogue_arts+health.html For further information please contact dialogue@helium.ie

This national Dialogue Arts + Health event is the culmination of twelve regional professional development events for artists, which took place in Cavan, Offaly, Galway and Limerick.

Dialogue Arts + Health was developed by the Arts + Health Coordinators Ireland in partnership with the Association of Local Authority Arts Officers. It is funded by the Arts Council. Key partners include; South Dublin County Council; the National Centre for Arts and Health, Adelaide and Meath Hospital, incorporating the National Children’s Hospital; Create; Waterford Healing Arts Trust; Helium – Children’s Arts and Health; West Cork Arts Centre; HSE Cork Arts and Health Programme; the Arts Initiative in Mental Health, Údarás na Gaeltachta; and St. Patrick’s University Hospital, Dublin.

Artist Comment: Limerick – Dialogue Session #1 – September 15th, 2011

MARIE BRETT (VISUAL ART)

In Limerick for Dialogue # 1, conversations unfolded during my final presentation ‘Unravelling Arts & Health Practice’ exploring

–          Definitions

–          Partnership as a three-way approach

–          Locating needs as an artist in the field

–          Collaboration / Facilitation : different working methodologies

–          Aligned professions / areas of work / cross-overs?

 

Which grew dialogue notably around issues of:

–          Why is arts and health growing as an area of interest / is it growing or more so being identified and named?

–          Ownership

// Negotiating permissions – who with / how + when?

// Of what – object / idea / legacy?

// how long can an artist be flexible to include / remove a    person’s name, input, ever flexible and shifting or a point when becomes fixed in stone?

–          Difficulty of maintaining creativity

–          Is it possible to be truly creative without imposing one’s ideas on other people?

–          Importance of being open and informed / access to information + knowledge / not fearing not knowing or asking for help from partners

–          Questioning what is the role of the artist?

–          Clarity needed from outset of one’s intention / boundaries

–          Time needed for negotiation

–          The distinct difference between collaboration and facilitating someone elses creativity

–          Art as product, but can the process be the product?

–          Need to negotiate positions of artist / therapist / leisure activity provider / teacher

–          Artists can be scared to bring up these things … to say the artwork is the priority over healing

 

Artist Comment: Galway – Dialogue Session #1 – September 14th, 2011

Artist Comment: Galway – Dialogue Session #1 – September 14th, 2011

MARIE BRETT (VISUAL ART)

In Galway for Dialogue # 1, I aimed to open dialogue via the presentation ‘Unravelling Arts & Health Practice’ as per the earlier two venues, looking at

–          Definitions

–          Artists position

–          Partnership : three-way

–          Methodologies

–          Challenges + incentives

–          Other aligned professions / areas of work

Exchange was interesting including artists questioning and commenting about:

–          Where does my work begin and end when working with others?

–          The importance of keeping something for yourself

–          Not to be frightened to make demands as an artist – what are your priorities?

–          The grey area, a creative space

–          To keep your voice for the art / integrity?

–          Art itself is about creating dialogue

–          Its easy to fall into wanting to please everyone

–          Where do we look to for validation?

–          How & where do we get permission to show the work afterwards and / or process of the work?

–          How does this field of work relate to your own art – does it move your own art forward?

–          The work as your art practice / not in parallel to it

–          Allies for your work and practice

Other comments were: ‘It’s so refreshing to hear an artist talking openly about these issues’ and ‘I’m so pleased to hear these conversations happening as they’ve been in my head for eight years with no-one to share them with’

Artist Comment: Tullamore – Dialogue Session #1 – September 8th, 2011

COMMENTS – ADD YOURS HERE
After each Dialogue Session, presenting artists will use this blog to record their observations, responses and reflections on the day.  Please feel free to add your comment and contribute your perspective.

Tullamore – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 8th, 2011

MARIE BRETT (VISUAL ART)

In Dialogue #1 in Tullamore, during my presentation ‘Unraveling Arts and Health Practice’ I explored definitions of What’s Arts and Health practice?; used project examples to locate my position; described my methodologies, challenges and incentives as part of the three-way interface of participant, staff and artist. I rounded up by defining aligned areas of work such as Arts Therapies, Arts & Disabilities, Community Arts in Health / Healthcare Promotion, Arts & Medical Humanities, Healthcare Environments & Environmental Enhancement and Arts & Science.

There was great exchange, notably around issues of:

Ethics / Locating the role of artist / Two professions, Two sets of needs / Supervision / Identifying supports / Ownership of work / Holistic approach / High management healthcare support needed / Role of science / Healing / De-humanisation due to technology & machinery in healthcare settings / Pubic art & environmental enhancement linking with participatory practice.

Artist Comment: Cavan – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 7th, 2011

COMMENTS – ADD YOURS HERE
After each Dialogue Session, presenting artists will use this blog to record their observations, responses and reflections on the day.  Please feel free to add your comment and contribute your perspective.

Cavan – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 7th, 2011

MARIE BRETT (VISUAL ART)

In Dialogue #1 in Cavan, during my presentation ‘Unraveling Arts and Health Practice’ I opened with definitions of ‘What’s Arts and Health practice? and then used project examples to locate and reveal my position as a visual artist in the field.

Describing the three-way interface of participant, staff and artist, led to discussion of the varying methodologies, challenges and incentives that are inherent in A+H practice. I rounded up by presenting how the practice of A+H differs to other aligned areas of work such as Arts Therapies, Arts & Disabilities, Community Arts in Health / Healthcare Promotion, Arts & Medical Humanities, Healthcare Environments & Environmental Enhancement and Arts & Science.

I was keen for the presentation to generate exchange and there were questions and comments on-going with breakout conversation circling around:

_     Collaboration – definition – responsibility – entry points

_     Ownership – ideas/objects – decision makers – credits

_     Arts Therapists / Artists – difference

_     Disclosure

_     Work to standing on own merit

Artist Comment: Tullamore – Dialogue Session #1 – September 8th, 2011

Comments – add yours here

After each Dialogue Session, presenting artists will use this blog to record their observations, responses and reflections on the day.  Please feel free to add your comment and contribute your perspective.

Tullamore – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 8th, 2011

MAIREAD O’DONNELL (TRADITIONAL MUSIC)

My workshop at the Dialogue sessions in Tullamore consisted of presenting a snapshot of my experience as a Traditional musician working in hospital settings. This included (a) a performance on fiddle from myself to enable listeners to hear live traditional music (b) information on my experience within the different Departments eg age-related unit, psychiatry and bedbound patients unit which included an evaluation report from the National Centre for Arts and Health, Adelaide and Meath Hospital inc. the National Children’s Hospital, Dublin and (c) participatory musical exercises to show people how I interact with clients.

During my presentation some of the issues raised by participants included the topic of funding; structure of my work practice; the healing nature of music in relation to chakras and energy levels; and the issue of staff support. Workshop participants also sang very nicely together on a song entitled “Three Lovely Lassies from Kimmage” and we ended the workshop with a number of people dancing an old Irish dance called ” Shoe the Donkey” while others played percussion instruments.

It was great to meet with other artists interested in this field of work and share our thoughts, ideas, and vision for the future of Arts and Health.

Artist Comment: Cavan – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 7th, 2011

COMMENts – ADD YOURs HERE

After each Dialogue Session, presenting artists will use this blog to record their observations, responses and reflections on the day.  Please feel free to add your comment and contribute your perspective.

Cavan – Dialogue Session # 1 – September 7th, 2011

EMMA MEEHAN (THEATRE)

At the dialogue session, I shared my work at a children’s hospital in Dublin. Through a workshop format, I introduced issues that arise in working with children in a hospital such as infection control, mobility issues, interruptions, changing population and so on. I shared why I might choose particular drama exercises and the process of using puppetry in helping children express themselves and gain new skills. I also brought up the area of documentation and reflection through the means of photography, voice recording, video, journaling, movement and writing. I hope that aspects of my sharing could feed into other artists’ work in different artforms and contexts. The simple drama and puppet games seemed to work as an ice breaker for the group to get to know each other. I found one hour very short and would have liked another hour to share the artistic ideas behind my work with the children, my performance works on hospital experience and body image, along with stimulating group discussion on topics that came up.