Grace O’Sullivan, MEP, to launch A Better Place

Exhibition by artist Deirdre Dunne
Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) has just announced that Grace O’Sullivan, MEP, will launch A Better Place, a new exhibition by artist Deirdre Dunne, at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) on Friday 28 June at 6pm.  All are welcome to attend.  This annual exhibition, presented by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), aims to present new, original, uplifting artworks to make UHW a better place for all.  The exhibition will continue until September. 

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).  Earlier this year, submissions were received from 49 artists and were voted on by the staff, patients and visitors to UHW, 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 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. 

Announcing details of the launch, Claire Meaney, Acting Arts Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, said “Our warmest congratulations to Deirdre Dunne on being selected for this year’s A Better Place exhibition.  WHAT believes that original artworks at University Hospital Waterford make it a better place for everyone and help to lift people’s spirits during what can sometimes be a difficult time.  Deirdre’s work is so vibrant and full of colour, we are really looking forward to seeing her paintings bring a beautiful lift to the hospital over the summer.  We are thrilled that our wonderful new MEP, Grace O’Sullivan, will officially open the exhibition and we feel that Deirdre’s themes of wildlife, landscapes and diverse cultures are a natural fit with Grace’s passions and priorities.  Everyone is welcome and we really hope that lots of people will join us for this special event”.

Speaking about her selection for A Better Place, Deirdre Dunne 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.  This is a great opportunity – Many thanks to all of you who voted for me.”

A Better Place is supported by the Arts Council.  Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is Ireland’s leading arts and health organisation.  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 www.artsandhealth.ie
ENDS