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Cloudlands: artists insights as phase one comes to a close

The first phase of Cloudlands came to a close in July after nine months of creative collaboration between artists-in-residence and teenagers at Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Cork University Hospital, and University Hospital Galway. The last couple of weeks on the project saw artists Rachel Tynan, Emma Fisher and Eszter Nemethi trial new technology that will inform the next phase of the project beginning in late autumn and offer fresh insights into the imaginative work they’ve been producing with young patients.

Here’s what has been happening in Galway and Cork:

Emma Fisher Artist in Residence, University Hospital Galway

Emma Fisher spent the last couple of weeks making books, collages and installations using sensors and creating puppets for shadow puppet films with young people in University Hospital Galway.

Here, Emma talks about working with a 13 year old girl with autism:

‘I had a shadow puppet book in my bag which turned out to be brilliant. She flicked through it and showed me what she liked, then I showed her how to make a puppet, and she just got stuck in. She was so fast drawing them out, then cutting them. We attached a screen from her TV stand to the table, so she could reach her hands around to operate the puppets while watching it. There was a moose, a fish, a witch and a dog. Then I showed her colour and she made a background with green grass and a house, and gave some of the puppets colour. We started filming and when her mom came back she got involved in puppeteering.’

Eszter Nemethi Artist in Residence, Cork University Hospital

A computer game called Pack of Dogs, an animation about seven puppies, a story about a flying bus, a QR code trail … all developed by young people with Eszter Nemethi at Cork University Hospital.

Pack of Dogs – Eszter and a 13 year old girl designed this computer game, starting with felt backgrounds before graduating to touchscreen design. They also made a stick figure with different heads that could be animated to run, jump and slide. ‘As the girl could not sit up we devised an upside down animating table consisting of a sticky label glued on by it’s non sticky side to a board. The stickman stuck to the sticky label so we were able to attach the whole thing to the bottom of the hospital table … she was lying in bed animating “upside down” sort to speak to the amusement of the teachers and nurses.’ Eszter has now started developing the technological version of the Pack of Dogs game.

We look forward to the return of Cloudlands and more creativity for teens in hospital later this autumn…

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