Kindly supported through the Arts Council 'Invitation to Collaboration' Scheme, Creative Enquiry - Arts and Older People was an initiative of Cork City Council in partnership with Cork County Council, Age & Opportunity, HSE Cork Kerry Community Healthcare-Cork South Community Work Department and three arts organisation, i.e. MusicAlive, Cork Midsummer Festival and Sirius Arts Centre. Creative Enquiry was an investigative collaborative venture that creatively explored fresh approaches to arts engagement with older people and advanced best practice models.
In 2019 Helga was awarded the post of artist in residence with MusicAlive together with choir conductor Susan McManamon and witness writer Arnold Thomas Fanning. Working collaboratively on two interdisciplinary artist residencies - one at Nazareth House, a nursing home in Mallow and one at Mayfield Men's Shed - the three artists explored how fusing voice, movement, music and the written word can inspire participation and a process of co-creation. In collaboration with the participants in the respective settings they worked with the breath, movement, voice, sound, rhythm and poetry focusing on a creative process that invited the community to engage as singers, movers, listeners and creators.
Feedback from participants and staff: "It cheers me up, getting old won't be such a chore anymore" Participant at Nazareth House "When you are doing something like this, you allow social inclusion, you allow everyone to be part of the group, to be seen. Your sessions have a mixture, there’s a nice flow to it, you have the music element, you have the poetry, you have the personal contribution, you have the sensory, it does speak to different residents. I’ve seen the residents engage, they’re talking about it, they’re coming back, and they’re having a good time.” Activities coordinator at Nazareth House "We got to know the existing group in a different way. I felt we bonded better and got to know people better and on a deeper level.” Participant at Mayfield Men's Shed.
For more information view the full publication here.