Artists in Residence

WHAT has been running an artist in residence programme every year since artist Aifric Gray came to Waterford Regional Hospital in 1994.

The acute hospital provides a fertile setting for art production and many of our artists in residence have responded to specific aspects of the hospital environment in making new work, such as Patricia Crossey’s Walking Wounded and Maria Casey’s Pyjama Series. These pieces are now part of the permanent art collection of the hospital.

Artists are given a studio space in the WHAT Centre for a sixmonth period and are supported by WHAT staff to engage patients and/or staff at University Hospital Waterford in participatory or collaborative art-making.

Artists are selected every year through open competition and the programme is open to artists of all disciplines.

Former artists in residence include Catherine Sweeney Browne, Ciara Harrison, Caroline Schofield, Lucy Hill, Patricia Crossey, Cormac Leane, Bernie Laherty, Gemma Hodge, Valerie Stone, Grace O’Meara, Mary Beth Meehan, Mark Roper, Brigid Teehan, Libby Seward, Caroline O’Sullivan, Maria Casey, Kevin O’Shanahan, Laura Fitzgerald, Emily Robyn Archer, Maria McKinney, Martin Fahy, Jeffrey Gormly, John Conway and MarieJeanne Jacob.

Joe Brennan


We were thrilled to welcome storyteller Joe Brennan to be our Artist in Residence for 2021.  Under the project title Telling Tales, Joe worked with staff of UHW for six months, offering opportunities to experience oral storytelling in different ways, including a Thursday Tale, a Storytelling Lounge and Telling the Story, a programme of storytelling workshops.  Staff teams could also avail of one off Introduction to Storytelling workshops with their colleagues.  Joe’s encounters with healthcare staff and his observations of life at the hospital also led him to create The Curing Walk, a new original story of hope in the midst of darkness, which captures the spirit of generosity and inherent goodness in people.  Read more about Joe’s residency here.

Report to follow.

Catherine Sweeney-Brown


We were delighted to have Catherine Sweeney Brown as our Artist in Residence for 2019.  A musician and music therapist, Catherine was based at the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health at UHW for six months and worked primarily with the Neonatal and Special Care Baby Unit at the hospital.  Read more here
Click HERE to listen to music created by Catherine for babies and their parents during her residency.
And click HERE to read Catherine’s report and reflection on her residency.

Eric Sweeney & Edward Denniston


For the first time, WHAT brought together two art forms under its Artist in Residence programme, with Composer Eric Sweeney and Poet Edward Denniston.  The aim of this exciting new approach was for both artists, working together, to collaborate with patients at UHW, and to create new work – including a new choral work – inspired by these experiences.  The resulting choral piece Hospital Voices was premiered at the UHW Chapel on Thursday 6 December 2018.  It was performed by Madrigallery Chamber Choir, under their director Dr Kevin O’Carroll, and accompanied by pianist Siobhan Keappock.

Read more about Eric and Edward’s residency announcement here
And click below to read their own reports and reflections on the residency:
Edward Denniston report & reflection
Eric Sweeney report & reflection

Ciara Harrison


Ciara Harrison is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design (NCAD), where she completed a BA in Textile Design (2011) and an MA in Design History and Material Culture (2016).  Concerned with gender and the body, as well as fragility and the ephemeral, Ciara creates work which is visually and texturally appealing.

Ciara began her residency with a creative invitation to patients “Tell me a story, spin me a yarn…” designed to encourage patients to engage with Ciara in conversation or storytelling.  Ciara built up wonderful relationships with patients and staff in the hospital and went on to create an engaging, creative, collaborative project entitled “Wild Thing (you make my heart sing)” for Well Festival of Arts & Wellbeing in October 2017.

Read all about Ciara’s residency and how she engaged patients, staff and the Waterford community Ciara-Harrison-AIR-Report-Jan-2018.pdf

Caroline Schofield


Caroline lives and works in Kilkenny. She studied Textiles in NCAD and received an MA in Art & Process from Crawford College of Art & Design in 2015. She is driven by an engagement with craft and a curiosity about narratives contained within materials from industrial steel, stone fabric, string and found objects. She manipulates and creates installations with these items referencing personal histories, place, people and memory. Read more

Marie-Jeanne Jacobs wall based comics

Marie-Jeanne Jacob


Marie-Jeanne Jacob is an artist who works with comics. She has studied art in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia and Mexico, and completed a research masters in Art and Education at Concordia University, Montreal, which culminated in an illustrated thesis focusing particularly on comic books as an educative medium and mental health.
Read more

John Conway


Originally from Kildare, John graduated from the National College of Art and Design in Dublin with an Honours Degree in Fine Art Sculpture in 2013. He has previously participated in residencies in Bucharest and Reykjavik. His art practice, which spans performance, installation, sculpture and video, has been exhibited both nationally and internationally.
Read more

Jeffrey Gormly


Jeffrey Gormley is a writer, editor and producer. He uses music, theatre processes, applied choreography, and ideas from science fiction to develop easygoing, supportive spaces for creative development. He was artist in residence in 2013.

During his residency with WHAT, Jeffrey explored the concept of flow; be that working with people to explore creative flow or researching flo
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Martin Fahy


Martin, a native of Waterford City, is a freelance Graphic Designer and Illustrator who graduated from Waterford Institute of Technology with a BA (Hons) in Design (Visual Communication) in 2011.
Read more

Maria McKinney


Since graduating from the University of Ulster in 2005, Maria McKinney has exhibited at both a national and international level including the National Gallery of Ireland, the RHA and RDS Dublin; Golden Thread Gallery and Old Museum Arts Centre, Belfast; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork and Sligo Gallery of Art. She also exhibited in Resolutions at the Katzen Arts Centre in association with the Smithsonian Institute, Washington and the 411 gallery in Shanghai, China. Read more