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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

11 community projects from all over Ireland have been selected as the recipients of the Irish Hospice Foundation SEED Grants, in partnership with the Creative Ireland Programme, to inspire and support creative responses to the themes of loss and bereavement during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mixing between personal projects with wider significance, community-based memorials and the creation of places to explore collective grief, all 11 innovative projects will be developed during 2021. 

The Irish Hospice SEED Grant Recipients 2021 are:

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Marthaz Urns (Cork) 

Martha Cashman, artist/sculptor in Cork will make 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 will reflect his love of motorbikes and nature. This project sits within a bigger ambition of creating personalised urns and exploring women in the funeral industry.

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

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

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Say It Feel It (Wexford)

Chris Hayes at Crannóg Media produces the HedgeRadio podcast, he wants to “give voice to those grieving and dying who cannot have loved ones close” beginning by creating an audio work on a dedicated website where he will curate stories recorded with people affected by the pandemic. 

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House of Memory (Galway and nationwide)

Frank Monahan and the Architecture At The Edge team, who explore the role of architecture and its impact on our lives, will build a temporary installation proposed by architect David Kelly, that explores 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 will be invited to leave a token of remembrance or an offering before the installation is disassembled and set alight as a beacon of hope.

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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 will set out to make a collective expression of grief when there is much grief but seemingly no place for it to go. Voice messages sent to a dedicated What’s App service will be processed through soundwave software to create a unique image for each anonymised recording. Images will be posted on a dedicated website memorial.

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Journey through the ritual of lament and caoineadh (Cork)

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

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Murmurations: A Song Cycle (Kildare)

Sharon Murphy and Sadhbh Murphy of Embrace Music are developing 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 will be available as digital recordings online.

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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 propose to compose and record an original collaborative piece to reflect the loss of members and loved ones in their village.

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Dying to Know (Limerick)

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

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Lily’s Grandpa is an Angel (Donegal)

Spanish artist living in Donegal for 15 years, Maria Gasol’s father died due to 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 will join forces with community groups to illustrate the poem and create a digital illustrated book. In turn, the book will become a tool to generate conversation.

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Mural of Remembrance Project (Waterford)

Gaultier GAA Club are deeply embedded in their community. Members of the club and the local community have been lost to COVID-19. With chair Richard Finnegan, they plan 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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