The Age & Opportunity and Nursing Homes Ireland inaugural National Arts in Nursing Homes Day Award aims to encourage and support access to the arts for the residents of care settings and to support care settings to participate in Bealtaine. The award also aims to demonstrate how the arts can contribute to the overall well-being and care of the residents of care settings.
There was a fantastic response to the call out from care settings across Ireland, with a variety of projects proposed across multiple artforms. The proposals showed great engagement between the setting and professional artists and a commitment to a culture of arts and creativity. We hope to see this award continue to grow in the coming years.
We are delighted to announce the three recipients of the inaugural National Arts in Nursing Homes Day Award: Kiltipper Woods Care Centre (Dublin), Dealgan House Nursing Home (Louth), and Esker Lodge Nursing Home (Cavan). We are excited to see these projects come to life for National Arts in Nursing Homes Day on May 20th, and encourage care settings around the country to get involved with their own arts events and celebrations on the day. Check bealtaine.ie in the coming weeks for more information on how to get involved.
Read on for more details about the award recipients and their projects.
Kiltipper Woods Care Centre (KWCC) is a purpose built 121 bed care centre in Dublin that was established in 2004.
Their National Arts in Nursing Home Day proposal is to undertake a large-scale site-specific group visual arts project “intended to encourage residents to push their own expectations and abilities to explore ideas and new practices.” This project will build on existing interactive art projects at KWCC, in particular their dignity trees, which are present on each of their six units. The tree is a symbolic gesture signifying the wishes and intents of residents to those entrusted with their care. The tree is also a symbol of growth and prosperity. Residents will work together with visual artist Lorraine Cross using steel wire, aluminium sheeting, and LED lighting to create two interconnected trees; a young, growing tree that meets and connects with an older more experienced tree.
Dealgan House Nursing Home in Dundalk has been open 21 years. Two sisters, Nora Byrne and Catherine Farrelly, opened the Home and ran it with their husbands until their retirement in 2019 when Eoin Farrelly took over.
Prior to the Pandemic, Dealgan House held a visual arts exhibition annually, organised and curated by Carol Wallace, a local artist who delivered weekly lessons. The exhibition was an event that everybody, including residents, their families, and the staff, thoroughly enjoyed. With the National Arts in Nursing Homes Day award they plan to bring this annual exhibition back. The residents will work together with visual artist Rozzi Kennedy in a series of workshops to create new art work that will be displayed.
On receiving the award, they said: “This award which we deeply appreciate is going towards a project which will encompass all the arts and involve as many residents as possible. We are going to blend Irish myths, poetry, song, as well as paintings, to use as inspiration for a 3D landscape and all the creatures and dolls that we intend to create. Storytelling, singing and reading poems, which will complement the display, will be carried out by different residents and activity staff throughout the week.”
Established in 2001, Esker Lodge is a 70 bed Nursing Home located on the outskirts of Cavan Town, that employs over 56 staff members.
For National Arts in Nursing Homes Day, the residents will take part in a series of workshops with artists Aisling and Fiona from ‘Bloom – The Art Project’ exploring themes of interconnectedness with animals and nature, reflecting on rural life. The project will culminate in a largescale mural that will be unveiled at a special Bealtaine event where storytelling and poetry will take place.
Speaking about the award they said: “We are thrilled to be a recipient of this award which will further inspire us to continue facilitating creative activities as meaningful occupation for our residents.”