Deirdre Dunne to make UHW “A Better Place”

Artist selected via public vote at UHW. 

Artist Deirdre Dunne will present a solo exhibition at UHW this summer, with the aim of making the hospital a better place for all.  The A Better Place exhibition is an annual exhibition, open to all artists, and managed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT).  Further details are available from

Now in its 4th year, A Better Place has been a consistently popular exhibition among staff, patients and visitors to UHW.  Recognising that art can soften the clinical environment of the hospital and help to alleviate stress and worry, WHAT began the A Better Place exhibition strand in 2016 to offer an opportunity to any artist to submit a sample of their work for consideration.  Previous winners include artists Sinead Hehir (2018), Barry Edwards (2017) and Gemma Hodge (2016).  This year, submissions were received from 49 artists and were voted on by the staff, patients and visitors to UHW earlier this year, with Deirdre Dunne receiving the highest number of votes.

Deirdre lives and works as an art teacher in Mitchelstown, County Cork, surrounded by the Galtee Mountains.  Having graduated from CIT Crawford College of Art and Design Cork with an Honours Degree in Fine Art Painting in 1993, she spent time cycling through Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Central America and Ireland, as well as working as a tour guide in Australia and East Africa.  Throughout her travels, Deirdre continuously sketched and painted images from each of the countries she visited, as well as her native Ireland.  With each continent she encountered, her work changed to portray the wildlife, the people, their land and their cultures, creating a kaleidoscope of images spanning the world.  Her subject matter varies, from everyday kitchen scenes to camels in the Gobi desert.  Her aim in art is to bring images from around the world to viewers who may have never gotten the chance to experience these places, or to rekindle memories for people who have.

On hearing she had been selected for A Better Place, Deirdre said “I am delighted to hear that my work was the winner of the people’s choice for this year’s A Better Place run by Waterford Healing Arts Trust.  I feel that art is a tool for uplifting people’s spirits, and I hope I can achieve this with my full exhibition of paintings at the hospital later this year.  This is a great opportunity – Many thanks to all of you who voted for me.”

Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is Ireland’s leading arts and health programme.  Established in 1993, WHAT brings arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings.  WHAT believes that the arts contribute to the wellbeing and vitality of society and that engaging with the arts stimulates the participant’s sense of identity and creativity.  WHAT supports the development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the national website 

Click here for background info on this exhibition