Dragon’s Tail by artist Marie Brett is an enchanting exhibition on show across two locations at University Hospital Waterford until Friday, 5 April 2024. The exhibition was originally launched as part of the Well Festival of Arts & Wellbeing 2024.

Fairytale meets frenzied carnival in this series of ambitious folk-myth artworks, exploring how electromagnetic energy fields affect human health.  Fusing fact and fiction, the exhibition consists of a film, a series of intaglio prints and photographs, poetic texts and large, wearable animal effigies made from willow and steel, each depicting key characters from the Dragon’s Tail folk-myth: the hare, the wolf, the deer and the raven.

This compelling artwork offers beautiful evocative visuals and atmospheric sound, and contributes critical new thinking on humanity’s significant global wellness issues.

Visual artist Marie Brett works across film, immersive multi-media installation, print, book and live event, with artworks presented in gallery and temporary off-site contexts.  Conceptually her work is about profound human experiences, often involving trauma, ill-health or varied forms of loss and/or injustice.  Marie’s socially engaged practice is rooted in health and community care contexts.

The creation of the Dragon’s Tail film was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Cork County Council, Cork Printmakers, Nano Nagle Place and the National Museum of Ireland.

During the making of Dragon’s Tail, Marie Brett consulted with a diverse team including farmers, historians, folklorists, dancers, musicians, craftspeople, healers, druids, strawers, circus performers and varied scholars, a Council of Elder specialist in elemental and extra-sensory perception, a necromancer, shaman, electrician and an art curator.

Creative Collaborators

Cinematography & drone: Colm Mullen and Chris Garrett.

Circus /other performers: Ellie Sherwood, Hannah Ryan, Ardan Preteau, Stevie Wilson, Moss Russell, Sadbh Grenham, Harry White, Clodagh Piper and Siobhán Kavanagh.

Dancers: Siobhán Ní Dhuinnín, Jessie Keenan and Sarah Ryan.

Musicians (live event): Lisa O’Sullivan (fiddle), Nicola Stathers (uillean pipes & low whistle) and Teresa Galvin (bodhrán).

Musicians (film soundscape): Siobhán Kavanagh, John Linnane (composers/performers), Ultan O’Brien (fiddle/viola) and Robbie Walsh (bodhrán)

Photography: Fiona Morgan and Jed Niezgoda.

Wearable sculpture, totem staffs & head-dresses: Juliette Hamilton, Celtic Stickmakers Cork and Liadain Butler.

Further Contributors / Supporters

Joanna Kate Grant, Helen D’Bharóid, Sarah Kelleher, Elisabeth Vandermeer, Kevin Scully, Eugene Walsh, Fanny Leenhardt, Lorraine Comer, Clodagh Doyle, Michael Fortune, Dr Jenny Butler, William Maloney, Karen Barry, Pádraig Óg Ó Ruairc, Timmy O’Connor, Dr Billy Mag Fhloin, Lucia Pola, Eugene Trindles, Matt O’Connor, Jim O’Donovan, Joseph Sheehan, Pat O’Sullivan, Hannah Ryan, Tomás Malone, Julí Ní Mhaoileóin, Róisín-Mya Connolly, Lee Behegan, Erin Clarke, Stephen Doughton, Oscar McCullagh, Stu Murphy, Kate O’Shea, Evelyn Broderick, Vicky White, Nic Piper, Chris Barry, Seán MacErlaine, Jay Peter Javeri, Ellie Stone, Philip Delamere, Leslie Ryan, Edwina Guckian, Fionnuala Maxwell, Maeve Mulrennan, Sarah Malone, Dr Críostóir Mac Cárthaigh, Aideen Quirke, Peter McMorris and Emma O’Hara.

About Waterford Healing Arts

Waterford Healing Arts brings arts experiences – music, visual art, creative writing and storytelling – to the bedside of patients at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) and other healthcare settings. This extensive arts and health programme is part of Réalta, the National Body for Arts + Health in Ireland.  Réalta is core funded by the Arts Council and the HSE. www.realta.ie

Exhibition locations

University Hospital Waterford (corridor leading to Out Patients Dept*)

and Réalta/Waterford Healing Arts Centre for Arts + Health, UHW (beside St Theresa’s Unit)

Continues until Fri 05 April 2024, 9am-6pm (excl Sat, Sun)

*Access subject to prevailing visitor restrictions