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Medtronic Foundation funds Cloudlands at University Hospital Galway

Helium is delighted to announce that the Medtronic Foundation through its Community Programme is funding Cloudlands at University Hospital Galway. Cloudlands is a new performance arts and technology project produced by Helium for teenagers with chronic illnesses. Cloudlands Galway commenced in November 2012 and will run until July 2013.

The Medtronic Foundation was created in 1978 and is charged as the primary channel for Medtronic’s strategic giving, with the majority of grant programmes thoughtfully aligning with the company’s commitment to improve access to quality healthcare.

Cloudlands provides creative support for teenagers who spend long periods of time in hospital, encouraging self-expression and social interaction, and helping participants to regain a sense of control and choice over their own lives. At University Hospital Galway, adolescents are collaborating with professional artist Emma Fisher to develop new artworks based on their ideas, interests and experiences. The participants are engaging with the visual arts, storytelling, puppetry, photography, film-making and animation in the creation of their work.

The Cloudlands project is also taking place at Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street, Dublin and Cork University Hospital. An online technology platform is being developed with input from participants so that artists and teenagers can share their work and collaborate across the three hospitals. This platform will continue to evolve according to the needs of participants.

There once was a box that turned into a bed, and on it a girl whose veins where made of wool. She loved to sing and draw and dream of Indian food and Italian boys and when she did musical notes flew around the box that was a bed. There is a girl, there is a girl, there is a girl who made a box into a bed.‘ – Patient aged 16

The artist Emma Fisher writes about working with an 11 year old boy on the above images:
‘After making a box into a house, we played with a light and the boy’s shadow. The boy, on seeing his giant shadow and the small house, came up with a story that he was a giant. He then went on to tell me a story which ended up being loosely inspired by Jack and the Beanstalk. We then did a storyboard. His Dad held the light and I took pictures as he acted out the images of the storyboard being the Giant and Jack. The plan is to photoshop the images so his shadow can be all characters and the house can be large and small. I’m to send the finished book to him in the post.’

Cloudlands at University Hospital Galway is produced by Helium Arts and has been funded by the Medtronic Foundation and the Arts Council. Cloudlands Galway is further supported by the Community Foundation for Ireland and Galway University Hospitals Arts Trust. Helium Arts gratefully acknowledges the in-kind sponsorship of the Vodafone Ireland Foundation.

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