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Using Creativity to Explore Loss: Irish Hospice Foundation SEED Grants

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3 min read

Using Creativity to Explore Loss: Irish Hospice Foundation SEED Grants

3 min read

16/03/21

Using Creativity to Explore Loss: Irish Hospice Foundation SEED Grants

In 2021 the Irish Hospice Foundation was selected for a SEED Grants Programme, in partnership with the Creative Ireland Programme.

With this programme 11 community-based projects gave voice to the themes of loss and bereavement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This lovely film captures the spirit of these heartfelt projects.

Irish Hospice Foundation SEED Grants

Open Video

Above:

Marthaz Urns (Cork) 

Martha Cashman, artist/sculptor in Cork made an urn for her brother who “wanted to be cremated but felt for my mother’s sake who is 92 he wouldn’t do that but give her the traditional burial she is used to”. It reflected his love of motorbikes and nature. 

Above:

One Story Encourages Another / Meallan Scéal Scéal Eile (Galway) 

Hazel Greene and Kathy Hyland, a bereavement support services coordinator and art therapist in Galway Hospice Foundation, offered those in their community who have experienced loss during COVID-19 an opportunity to share experience in words, music and poetry, which was then shared as a video.

Above:

Say It Feel It (Wexford)

Chris Hayes at Crannóg Media produced the HedgeRadio podcast to give a voice to those grieving and dying who could not have loved ones close. He began by creating  an audio work on a dedicated website where curated stories recorded with people affected by the pandemic.

Above:

House of Memory (Galway and nationwide)

Frank Monahan and the Architecture At The Edge team, explored the role of architecture and its impact on our lives, by building a temporary installation proposed by architect David Kelly, that explored the boundary between life and death. It suggests how we can find a way to grieve and mourn the loss of a loved one given the restrictions of social distancing and gathering. Installed in Galway in March, visitors were invited to leave a token of remembrance or an offering before the installation was disassembled.

Above:

Sorry for Our Troubles (Limerick and nationwide)

Jennifer Moran Stritch of the Limerick Institute of Technology Loss and Grief Research Group/Death Café Limerick, together with Jantien Schoenmakers, Marketing Consultant, and David O’Neil of Limerick City Community Radio set out to make a collective expression of grief. Voice messages sent to a dedicated WhatsApp service were processed through soundwave software to create a unique image for each anonymised recording. 

Above:

Journey through the ritual of lament and caoineadh (Cork)

Artist Michelle Collins led residents of Marymount University Hospital and Hospice to explore loss, grief, reflection, and remembrance through lament and keening/caoineadh workshops. This project was also supported by Cork County Council Library and Arts Service.

Above:

Murmurations: A Song Cycle (Kildare)

Sharon Murphy and Sadhbh Murphy of Embrace Music developed a cycle of three songs reflecting and drawing on the breadth and depth of loss in the residential care communities they work with. Supported by Kildare Arts Office, the title refers to the outbreak of empathy in the pandemic, and the final works are available as digital recordings online.

Above:

Absent Voices (Meath)

Róisín Freeney and the 45 members of Dunshaughlin Choral Society, an amateur community choir where all are welcome, play a central role in village life. They composed and recorded an original collaborative piece to reflect the loss of members and loved ones in their village.

Above:

Dying to Know (Limerick)

Joanne Ryan is a theatre artist who specialises in making work about taboo and stigmatised subject matter. Supported by Limerick’s Lime Tree Theatre, and in collaboration with thanatologists and death historians, she developed parts of a new performance interrogating issues around death that combines autobiography, documentary and research.

Above:

Lily’s Grandpa is an Angel (Donegal)

Maria Gasol is a Spanish artist living in Donegal, her father died from COVD-19 in Barcelona last April. Her 6-year-old daughter trying to console her with care, innocence and imagination, led to a story-poem. As a volunteer in local residential care and community support agencies in West Donegal, she joined forces with community groups to illustrate the poem and create a digital illustrated book. In turn, the book became a tool to generate conversation about death.

Above:

Mural of Remembrance Project (Waterford)

Gaultier GAA Club is deeply embedded in the community. Members of the club and the local community have been lost to COVID-19. With chair Richard Finnegan, they created a memorial mural made with a local graffiti artist on a wall facing the Dunmore East-Waterford City Road to raise spirits and commemorate.

Find out more about the projects in our Creativity in Older Age Scheme here

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