“Linking Creatively” is an innovative arts and wellbeing project hosted by Arts Care, conceptualised and coordinated by Arts Care visual artist Patricia Lavery.
The Public Health Agency and Big Lottery Fund have funded, with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, this large scale public artwork to celebrate the City of Culture 2013 and beyond.
Thirteen Arts Care artists and up to 1500 service users from all five Health and Social Care Trusts have created 2013 colourful and imaginative figures, linked together by a heart representing the heart of the community.
Each figure has been inspired by the 365 days of the year 2013, with daily newspapers used as the source material to celebrate and inspire the artwork.
Mary Black, Assistant Director for Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement at the PHA, said:
“This project has provided the opportunity for those at the heart of our community to become involved and feel part of the City of Culture celebrations and legacy. By involving service users across all five Trusts it has promoted inclusion, involvement and access to art. It is hoped that the Linking Creatively installation with its ‘celebration of the positive’ will contribute to the feeling of health and wellbeing of all those who have created and view it.”
Ilex has kindly permitted the artwork to be installed along the fencing around Ebrington - externally from the Guard House on St Columb’s Road and around the Limavady Road to the site entrance on Kings Street to below the Cunningham building.
Caoimhín Corrigan, Ilex’s Director of Ebrington said:
“We are delighted to host this unique piece of artwork at Ebrington. It is very fitting that this project, which focuses on the heart of the community and the brilliant year we had during 2013 in our city, is displayed around the perimeter of Ebrington., which has become a shared space for all, at the heart of Derry~Londonderry”.
One service user who participated in the project commented:
“Taking part in this project gave me the opportunity, for the first time, to come together with other older people to contribute something valuable to the City of Culture celebrations and to feel that I was part of something special.”
The unique artwork will remain in place for 12 weeks and, at a total length of 1.2km, it will enhance the city landscape and demonstrate the creative expression of Arts Care and the many participants who took part. It is an exciting visual documentation that celebrates the success of the City of Culture.
Arts Care CEO, Dr Jenny Elliott commented:
“This inclusive project has involved a wide range of participants across health and social care in Northern Ireland and is really about celebrating everything that is good about life. We are anticipating that these beautiful sculptures will bring a sense of joy and well-being to the people and visitors to the city over the next three months as it has done to the people who create it.”
If you would like to find out more about this project or Arts Care’s work please contact Lead Artist Patricia Lavery or CEO Dr. Jenny Elliott at Arts Care. www.artscare.co.uk