New Participatory Art Project

Project Announcement

‘The Trial’ is the title of a new participatory visual art project due for public exhibition in April 2018. It will focus on health and welfare provision in prisons, and access to healthcare after release from prison in Ireland.

This project is funded by the Arts Council of Ireland under the Arts Participation Project Award scheme.

The Trial is a collaborative project between visual artist Sinead McCann, UCD historians Catherine Cox and Fiachra Byrne, participants and staff at the Bridge Project [1] in Dublin 8, Theatre of the Oppressed [2] specialist Sarah Meaney, and video production company, ‘Sixbetween’, which focuses on the theme of healthcare in Irish prisons.

In April 2018, the team will produce a visual arts installation for public exhibition in Kilmainham Gaol Museum’s Old Court Room. Combining a mix of historical and contemporary research, as well as the real-life experiences of ex-offenders, this installation will call into question the provision of health and welfare in prison and access to healthcare after release in Ireland. The installation will consist of historical textural material and a multi-screen visual and sound installation, which will resemble a courtroom situation. All material for the installation will be developed by participants from the Bridge Project through a series of visual arts, film, theatre, creative writing and history workshops in collaboration with the team.

The artwork will offer multiple perspectives on health in prison and on release, inviting the visitors to the exhibition to occupy the position of jury and form their own opinions on this topic.

[1] The Bridge Project is a community-based organization which aims to reduce recidivism rates for high risk violent offenders from the greater Dublin area. The Bridge project aims to bringing about sustainable change for offenders through a range of evidenced-based, structured programmes delivered by a multi-disciplinary team of experienced project workers and volunteers co-located with a fully integrated Probation Team.
[2] Theatre of the Oppressed is a strand of theatre formed by Brazilian theatre practitioner Augusto Boal. Boal’s theatre making techniques uses theatre as a means for social change.


Photograph by Sarah Buckley and Damian Murphy, National Inventory of Architectural Heritage.

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