Inspiration from New York’s Museum of Modern Art comes to Skibbereen

Posted on: 18th January, 2016

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

Bantry woman Sheila Goggin, who was 89-years-old on December 26, recently visited Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre as part of its new ‘In the Picture’ programme. The programme offers opportunities for older people – living in residential settings or being cared for in their own homes in the West Cork area – to participate in bespoke facilitated experiences in the galleries. The ‘In the Picture’ concept was originally rolled-out by New York’s Museum of Modern Art and is designed to give older people and people living with dementia an opportunity to participate in art and cultural venues.

Sheila says, “It was very good, we walked around and looked at all the art and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I do a bit of art myself and would like to do more of these types of visits.”

According to Sheila’s son Finbarr Goggin, “this visit and indeed the other artistic ventures that Sheila is involved in have made a remarkable difference to her life. Spending a great deal of time at home leads to boredom and feelings of isolation but when mam is out and about participating in art and other cultural activities, she is at her best. She comes home full of life and buzzing from the activity. The ‘In the Picture’ programme involves meaningful participation and I can see a huge difference in mam when she returns from such activities. A day or so after the visit, mam drew a haunting picture of a tree blowing during a gale.”

According to Sarah Cairns who works as an activities co-ordinator at Bantry General Hospital, “By taking part in ‘In the Picture’, Sheila’s inner love for art and all things of a cultural nature became hugely apparent and she actively engaged with a selection of artworks on exhibit. At one stage both she and the other participants broke into song inspired by the display.

‘In the Picture’ delivers direct access to and participation in the West Cork Arts Centre’s exhibition programme and a sensitive space for conversational and sensory contribution. The discussions are facilitated by artists and gallery educators trained in dementia care and communication skills.

The programme is overseen by a committed group of local partners from the HSE, Cork Education and Training Board, West Cork Carers, Cork County Council, and West Cork Arts Centre who see at first hand the benefits that it brings to people our communities.

Sarah Cairns adds, “I see the artwork lighting up the faces of people with dementia and their carers reaction to this. It is overwhelmingly powerful. There is an unusual amount of ability available to people with dementia to connect with and appreciate art in all its forms, and also an ability to connect with their own creative selves, this is what ‘In the Picture’ is offering people a chance to tap into. Our sessions are about making observations, describing and building connections. Allowing each person the time to comfortably observe and experience the space and artwork.”

Programme Manager Justine Foster says, “We now have a trained team of professional artists delivering the programme. We provide ongoing professional development support for both healthcare and arts professionals in the area of arts and dementia in order to extend and develop the local pool of expertise and encourage dialogue between arts and health practitioners who are currently working with people who are living with memory loss and dementia.”

This new development in Skibbereen is part of Arts for Health Partnership Programme, West Cork, which has been delivering a hugely successful arts and cultural programme for the last 10 years in community hospitals and day centres across West Cork.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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