08 Aug 2022

GALLERY: Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore launches 'Stop and Sit' art exhibition

Over 80 members of staff collaborated with artists from Anam Beo on exhibition

The Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore has launched a new exhibition of art called 'Stop and Sit'.

The exhibition brings together another exciting project showcasing the artwork of staff at the hospital and artists of Anam Beo, Offaly arts and wellbeing organisation.

Over 80 members of staff, patients, and visitors participated in the project which involved consideration of the importance of arts in the hospital space, particularly as a means of promoting rehabilitation, recovery, care, and well-being in daily life.

Artists from Anam Beo visited participating departments in the hospital to discuss how arts, health and wellbeing fit within a hospital context. The exhibition encapsulates the interactions and observations of participating staff which were used to inspire the artworks.

The framed artworks will be on view on the ground floor of the hospital until October 2018, after which they will be moved into the various departments around the hospital that were involved in the project and visible to staff, patients, as well as members of the public visiting the hospital.

Speaking at the launch of the exhibition, Orlagh Claffey, General Manager of Midland Regional Hospital Tullamore, said, “we are delighted to be hosting this exhibition of art and to continue to develop this strong partnership with the Offaly art community. I would like to congratulate the artists, Rowena Keaveny and Julie Spollen from Anam Beo and thank them for the huge amount of work that has gone into creating this exhibition. I would also like to thank all of the hospital staff who participated in this project and helped to shape the art we are enjoying today.

“In participating in the Stop and Sit project, we wanted to give Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore staff a positive and enriching experience, and to encourage them to think about the impact of the arts on our health and wellbeing," she concluded.

Mr Tony Fegan, Director of Tallaght Community Arts said, “participatory arts are vital for building strong communities. The Stop and Sit project at Tullamore Hospital is a good example of the great work communities can do – in this case, the hospital community – to make the arts a real and vibrant part of local life.”

Julie Spollen, artist at Anam Beo who worked on the project remarked, “wherever or whatever the day to day humdrum is, access to the arts enables an ability to offload contemporary stresses. Creative spaces, physical or mental, have the ability to provide us with both a means to expression and a sanctuary.”

Speaking at the launch, Helen Stokes, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group Lead for Healthy Ireland said, “prioritising the health and wellbeing of our staff, and the community at large, is a priority for the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. Initiatives like this art exhibition provide an opportunity for our staff and the public to quietly contemplate and reflect amidst the hustle and bustle of the busy environments where we work and visit. I would like to congratulate Orlagh, all the staff who supported and participated in this project, and in particular the artists for their support and encouragement.”

Ann Lawlor, Director of Anam Beo and Arts Consultant, commented, “it was great to see so many of the staff and community at Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore get involved with this project. The results speak for themselves. The finished art pieces are a testament to the community here at the hospital and will help to improve the health, well-being, and mindfulness of the staff, patients, and visitors.”

Mary Brady, Arts Officer at Offaly County Council, added, “I’d like to warmly congratulate both the staff at Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore and the artists who worked on this project. This exhibition is a very positive development for the hospital and I hope the installation of this artwork will help to foster a culture of awareness about the benefits art can bring for our health.”

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