Skibb hospital residents celebrate the ‘wheels of life' with sculpture

November 2nd, 2017 5:11 PM

By Southern Star Team

Residents of the Community Hospital in Skibbereen who took part in the Wheels of Life project.

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RESIDENTS, staff and guests attended a garden celebration at Skibbereen Community Hospital recently to mark the collaborative creative efforts by the residents of the Community Hospital, with artist Sharon Dipity.

Sharon along with the resident installed a series of five willow sculptures in the courtyard garden of Skibbereen Community Hospital. 

The sculptures, made of willow and weaved into various circular shapes, represented the wheel of life, an idea conceived by resident Denis when discussing ideas with the artist. Sharon is part of a team of artists who work in Community Hospitals in West Cork as part of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme, an initiative that has been running since 2008 with partner agencies, Cork County Council, Cork Education & Training Board and West Cork Arts Centre.

The willow was introduced to the residents during one of their weekly art workshops. Sharon describes why she chose this adventurous materials: ‘I recognised that willow was a familiar material to the residents, and a natural fibre that was complimentary to the garden.’

She also noted that ‘people really enjoyed working with material, the men in particular as they got to make something quite different with a familiar material. It even engaged people who would ordinarily get involved in art workshops.’

Installation of the artwork took place on a regular Wednesday afternoon, between short spells of rain, adding a little something special to what would have been a regular afternoon otherwise.

Paddy Ryan, the director of nursing at Skibbereen Community Hospital complimented the residents on showcasing the wonderful sculptures and the intricate nature of the sculptures. ‘We see the different personal obstacles our residents have to overcome on a daily basis and it brings home the phenomenal strength of the residents and the true value of the Arts for Health Partnership Programme,’ he said.

A special guest on the day included Arts for Health Programme manager Justine Foster from West Cork Arts Centre, who congratulated the residents on their achievement and the hospital staff for making such an effort in helping realise and celebrate the artwork.

The Arts for Health Partnership Programme is based in West Cork and provides a managed and integrated arts programme for older people in healthcare settings. 

Managed by West Cork Arts Centre, Arts for Health runs all year round and is delivered by team of professional artists from different disciplines. It takes place in five Community Hospitals, along with Bantry General Hospital Care of the Elderly unit and five day care centres. The partners comprise West Cork Arts Centre, Cork County Council, Cork Education & Training Board and Cork Kerry Community Healthcare. Cork Kerry Community Healthcare is represented through the Cork Arts + Health Programme, the Communications Department, Health Promotion Department, the Nursing Directors of Community Hospitals and the Day Care Centres, West Cork.

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