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Arts in Health Archive

In this section you will find details of previous Arts in Health initiatives and projects. While these projects and initiatives are historical, their information can still be quite relevant and they are important to keep so as to document a history of Arts Development in County Kildare. If you would like any further information on any of these past projects or initiatives, please contact us at arts@kildarecoco.ie or 045 448328 and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The Green Room Project

 Green Room launch 336x448

Artist Pauline Keena, Deputy Mayor Paddy MacNamara and County Arts Officer Lucina Russell at the launch of "The Green Room Project" in the Rotunda Hospital

Minister for Health Opens The Green Room Project at Rotunda Hospital

On Wednesday 15th October 2008, 12.30pm, Minister for Health  and Children, Mary Harney TD, launched ‘The Green Room Project’, a groundbreaking art exhibition at the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.  The project is an artistic collaboration between visual artist Pauline Keena and a group of mothers who experienced the loss of an infant.  Minister Harney in her piece for the exhibition catalogue said “It is a loss that is difficult to articulate. I hope this project can help to penetrate the darkness”.

Responding to an advertisement by the artist in the ISANDS Newsletter, bereaved mothers embarked on an artistic project through an artists residency in the clinical environment of the Rotunda Hospital in 2007-2008.  By implicating the process of grief and mourning in an artmaking process, the project allowed the mothers to explore a range of emotions around the loss of their infant - profound grief, unspeakable loss and sense of failure.  As one of the mothers involved in the project said, “The art I made was basically many, many different ways of saying the same things: I think of you, I miss you and I love you”. 

Keena, an artist from Clane, Co Kildare was funded by Kildare County Council Supports for Professional Artist programme to carry out the work as part of her research into her own practice.  Her previous career as a neo-natal mid wife was the impetus for ‘The Green Room Project’ and allowed her to work with the mothers in an informed and sensitive way.  Her experiences as a midwife resonate through Keena's own artistic practice by implicating the work with narratives specific to midwifery that engage the mothers body and language in the mother’s body. Keena is currently researching the work of linguist and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva.

Through ‘The Green Room Project’, the artist’s idea was to “investigate and explore, through an engagement with ideas, processes, procedures, materials and making how the physicality of grief could be languaged in a vocabulary specific to itself”.  It is clear that participation in the project has also been deeply beneficial to the four mothers who worked with Keena,  “I had always hidden, not even known how intense the loss was, I never let myself believe how devastated I truly was. In many ways I had never said how sad I was, how hurt, how devastated at losing my baby. Here I was, all those years later, expressing and processing all that could not be said or mentioned or felt then”.

The exhibition consists of a series of framed prints, drawings, stained glass and a number of poignant miniature baby garments, as well as a neon signage artwork, by the artist entitled ‘Are You Sure You Had a Baby’, inspired by a comment made to one of the mothers after the loss of her child. 

The research and development phases of this project and the subsequent exhibition forms part of Kildare County Council’s Arts in Health Programme, which is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.  The exhibition will run in the Education Exhibition Room at Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, from Tuesday 21st October to Tuesday 11th November 2008.

Solas exhibition - Naas General Hospital July 2009 - May 2010

 SOLAS exhibition

SOLAS [July 2009 - January 2010] - This exhibition has been extended until May 2010

SOLAS, an exhibition of artworks selected by staff at Naas General Hospital from Kildare County Councils' Municipal Art Collection, was officially launched in the Hospital on Thursday 30 July by artist Patrick Pye.

Sally Timmons curated this project, which involved curatorial workshops exploring the Municipal Collection, a gallery visit and artists talks by Martin Gale and Isabel Nolan, culminating in the hospital staff selecting works for the Solas exhibition.

The selected works include drawings, paintings, prints and sculptures dating from the 1970s by Tim Mara, Martin Gale, Grainne Cuffe, Robert Ballagh, Michael O’Callaghan, Michael Asher, Roy Johnston, Patrick Pye, Bernie Leahy, Gerard Pollard, John Behan, Derek A Fitzsimons as well as contemporary drawings and a video piece by Isabel Nolan.

By working directly with a curator to develop the exhibition concept and select work, it was hoped the project would provide a meaningful and interactive experience for staff and they could develop a sense of ownership over the selection, placement and presentation of artworks in their hospital. Their selection reflects their individual preferences, experiences and learning gained on this journey.

Kildare County Council Arts Service is delighted to fund and support this arts in health initiative which forms part of an ongoing commitment to the development of the arts programme in Naas General Hospital as outlined in our Arts in Health Strategy 2009-2011.

The works can be viewed in Naas General Hospital.

Contact Kildare County Council Arts Service on Tel: 045-448328 or arts@kildarecoco.ie for further details.

According to project co-ordinator, Sally Timmons, '' Solas, meaning ‘light’ is the title of this exhibition, which has endeavoured to expose selected works from the Kildare County Council Municipal Art Collection. It is representative of the fact that many collections of art are loaned out from time to time and are encountered by multiple audiences within numerous contexts of time and place. The value of a resource such as, the Kildare County Council Municipal Art Collection, is made clear in the statement below by Isabel Nolan (one of the artists who’s work is included in this exhibition) Once given a context or environment in which to have a relationship with, a work of art has the potential to perform over and over''.

 Click here to view more images from the launch of SOLAS.

Solas exhibiton launch

SOLAS Breda Gleeson and Marian Higgins

SOLAS Jean and Niall

Solas Patrick Pye

SOLAS Sally and Michael

Solas working group