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Online Arts Programme

Teenagers with cystic fibrosis face barriers when it comes to connecting and conversing with each other: due to cross-infection issues, they cannot be in the same physical space. Helium Arts piloted an online art programme for young teenagers with CF in spring 2019 to support these connections and create a space for the development of creative skills. The programme took place in partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

Seven young people aged 12-16 who named themselves the Seven Summer Stars took part in the project which supported a group art journaling experience. Using digital tools and online mediated meet-ups along with access to professional artist mentors in person and online, participants benefited from the development of collaborative arts practice with a community of peers and the exploration of personal stories. Artist Rachel Tynan, who has worked on Helium’s artist in residence and community art programmes since 2012, is the lead artist. The programme is free for participants.

Artwork by the young artists was exhibited at a showcase event at Waterford Healing Arts Trust in May 2019 where participants joined us for a virtual tour.

Aims and Objectives

AIMS

  • Increase access to the arts for young people with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Develop an ability and awareness to communicate creatively
  • Reduce  social isolation and increase wellbeing

OBJECTIVES

  • Connect young people with CF in an online creative environment
  • Engage with the Freud Gaze exhibition at IMMA as a starting point for inspiration
  • Develop a process of brainstorming and idea generation through journaling
  • Create an opportunity for young people to share their work at the end of the project

Activities

Rachel Tynan delivered the online creative sessions supported by Emma Eager, project manager with Helium Arts. Collaborative filmmaker Linda Curtin was a guest mentor on the project.

Content was led by the participants but included a ‘virtual’ gallery experience, exploring artworks from IMMA’s Freud Gaze exhibition, alongside writing, illustration/painting, storyboarding and graphic/visual harvesting. Participants engaged in art journaling methods, self-reflection, improvisation and resourcefulness.

Helium is exploring project sustainability to determine future roll-out to further members. Over the course of the project, online resources are being created including Online Journaling Guides and How to Videos.   

Acknowledgements

The online art programme is produced by Helium Arts in partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland, the Irish Museum of Modern Art and Waterford Healing Arts Trust. The programme is supported by The Arts Council, The Ireland Funds, Dublin City Council and The Health Services Credit Union.

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