How you can help us!

Palimpsest: Artists create new work inspired by the latest superhero film by young members of CanTeen

Palimpsest: ‘Something bearing visible traces of an earlier form’

For the past three years, Helium Arts has collaborated with CanTeen, the national young people’s cancer support group, on the Two Suitcases community film project. In 2016, CanTeen members created a superhero-themed film, Planet of the Capes, with the support of professional artists. Inspired by the film and the imaginative approaches of the young people, project artists Louise Manifold and Ben Murnane are creating companion films in collaboration with multi-instrumentalist and composer Seán Carpio.

Planet of the Capes and the companion films will be screened at an interactive film and music showcase at The Sugar Club in Dublin on Saturday 1 April 2017. The world of superheroes will be brought to life through a live music soundtrack produced by Seán Carpio in collaboration with CanTeen members. Siobhán Clancy, lead artist on the Two Suitcases project, will curate a series of interactive installations at the event inspired by sets and characters from Planet of the Capes.

For poet and author Ben Murnane, the Palimpsest Project is an opportunity ‘to delve deeper into one of my own main sources of succour and inspiration when coping with my illness: the fantasy of being a superhero.’ An adaptation of Ben’s memoir Two in a Million, about life with Fanconi anaemia, kick-started the Two Suitcases community film project in 2012 and featured a memorable home video interlude of a young Ben as ‘Super Priest’. In January, Ben headed to Connemara with artist Louise Manifold to brainstorm ideas for their collaboration.

Louise Manifold is a visual artist and experimental filmmaker who often creates work using the medium of 8mm and 16mm film.  Louise will create 2 short film works drawing on ‘ideas of superheroes’ transformation, metamorphosis and the body’. Louise was excited to have the opportunity to work with Ben Murnane and Seán Carpio in an active collaborative exchange: ‘Such an approach releases the work expectations from rigid outcomes into more fluid forms, making this project both exceptional and unique to me.














Seán Carpio, one of Ireland’s most celebrated jazz musicians, is a multi-instrumentalist whose practice incorporates song, sound and improvisation. For Seán, ‘the base for all my work is my interest in the capacity within music to mediate an immediate and fluid social interaction between people.’  Seán will facilitate a social music-making workshop with CanTeen to devise the soundtrack in the lead up to the event: ‘I adapt my mode of working to practical relationships between composer, performer, audience and acoustical reality, to create site and personality dependent pieces. And so for the Palimpsest Project, I want to apply these influences and models in a way that encourages all the participants involved to feel welcome and empowered to make this music with me.’

Artist Siobhán Clancy is looking forward to engaging the audience at the screening event through a range of sensory and interactive happenings, taking inspiration from the culture of the picture house during the World War II era in Ireland when the superhero and early sci-fi genre were taking off. Siobhán herself will perform the role of a projectionist creating a live visual ‘mash ups’ show.


Learn more about the artists here!

The Palimpsest Project is produced by Helium Arts in association with CanTeen Ireland. The project is funded by the Arts Council and Dublin City Council Arts Office with support from Flying Tiger Copenhagen. The film ‘Planet of the Capes’ by CanTeen was funded through the Arts Council’s Young Ensembles Scheme.

Join our mailing list

We would love to keep in touch to tell you about what's happening in our creative programmes supporting children and teenagers managing long-term health conditions across Ireland to access a meaningful creative and social outlet. We will also send you details from time to time on our events, fundraising activities, funding and sector news.

Donate to Helium

Your donations help sick children and their families (it also makes you sound!)


Contact Us
+ 353 (0) 44 93 96 960


Helium Arts is a registered charity and compliant with the requirements of the Charities Regulator, the national regulatory authority for charities in Ireland


CHY Number: 19236
Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20075200
Companies Registration Office: 486621


Design by New Graphic


Helium Arts
Top Floor
22 Pearse Street
Co. Westmeath
N91 VYP0



This website has been part funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.