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‘Where are we now?’ – Puppet Portal Symposium ARTISTS

The artists who took part in the Puppet Portal Project will be providing hands-on workshops at the October 28th symposium examining arts for children in hospital.


Siobhán Clancy’s practice explores the dynamics of collaboration and the dialogue that informs it. Following graduation from NCAD (BA Hons, Fine Art) in 2005, she has pursued further study in participatory arts, development education and Theatre of the Oppressed. She works primarily in participatory contexts with youth‐at‐risk and communities of interest or experience such as NCBI (National Council for the Blind of Ireland) with whom she received support from the Artist in the Community Scheme supported by The Arts Council and managed by Create (The National Development Agency for Collaborative Arts) and Dublin City Council Arts Act Grant in 2010 (See www.artoflistening.info). Clancy frequently provides art consultation for media-based organisations as well as curriculum design and training for active learning programmes at NUI Maynooth and The Digital Hub. For more information, see www.siobhanclancy.com

Fionnuala Conway is a musician/composer and multimedia artist. She has been lecturing on the M.Phil. in Music and Media Technologies course since 2002 and was appointed Course Director in 2006. With a background in music and music technology, Fionnuala has worked as composer and performer on a number of theatre productions. Her interest in the application of new media and technology to art and performance prompted a return to academia and her PhD thesis, Exploring Citizenship through Art and Technology, with a particular focus on interactive immersive physical environments. The Art of Decision project, shown in May 2005, is a practical manifestation of this research. A feature-length documentary, Art of Decision, was produced in 2006. She has produced work in a wide variety of forms, from traditional materials to interactive digital media, wearable technology, installations and theatre presentation, including Urban Chameleon, in collaboration with Katherine Moriwaki, and the Reactive Performance Dress designed for the musician, Miriam Ingram. Fionnuala completed a Bachelor of Music at University College, Dublin in 1994 and an M.Phil. in Music and Media Technologies at Trinity College, Dublin in 1999.

Emma Fisher is a Limerick based Puppeteer, Theatre designer and Installation Artist. She has been devising shows, touring to festivals and running puppetry workshops with children and adults since 2005. In 2009 she started working for Helium as resident puppeteer in the Limerick Regional hospital. She was Nominated for Irish Times Set Designer of the year 2009.

Helene Hugel is a puppeteer, performer, and arts and health practitioner, with a qualification in hospital play specialism. She is also artistic director of Helium. She began her professional career as a puppeteer in 1997 as co-founder and partner of the award winning Púca Puppets. She worked for 5 years with Clown Doctors Northern Ireland and now specialises in arts and health, regarding the healthcare setting as a platform to develop new work for children. Helene recognises the powerful effect arts engagement can have on society and the difference it can make to children and young people. She currently works alongside Helium’s growing team of artists in residence, across health centres and hospitals in Ireland.

Dublin based Niamh Lawlor has extensive experience as a collaborative artist in many contexts. Her work bridges the visual and theatre arts and she is a founder of Púca Puppets since 1997 and a member of Dublin City Council’s Artist Panel. For many years she worked also on the Artist Panel of the Irish Museum of Modern Arts. www.pucapuppets.com

Sally Maidment is a visual artist working through a range of media, specialising in collaborative and community-based projects. Recent projects in Ireland, the UK and Luxembourg have explored communal narratives with children, young people, adults and special needs groups through multimedia installations, film, temporary artworks and hand printed books.

Eszter Nemethi is a Cork based theatre artist specialising in work with children and young people. She has worked as facilitator and assistant director with Boomerang Theatre Company and toured extensively across Europe with the production “FML” also as assistant director. She is one of the co-curators of Solstice and the artistic director of Makeshift Ensemble.

Anna Rosenfelder is a puppeteer, story spinner and arts facilitator. She plays with puppets, found objects, natural materials, words and song to create striking visuals, invent little worlds and stimulate imagination. Anna trained as a puppeteer in Bochum, Germany. She is founder and artistic director of children´s theatre company, Theater Papilio, whose intimate and poetic theatre experiences have toured many venues in Germany and Ireland. Anna was guest performer with theatre companies HELIOS Theater, Germany and Monkeyshine, Ireland. She has devised and facilitated participative arts experiences for children with a wide range of partners including Airfield, Killruddery Arts, Mermaid Arts Centre, Kildare & South Dublin Libraries, Ards Arts Puppet Festival and completed residencies with Killruddery Arts (Enchanted garden), DLR County Council (Creative Classrooms) & Helium Arts and Health (the Puppet Portal Project). www.theaterpapilio.com