By Artist Bénédicte Coleman, ‘This project, Art without Objects had reached the conclusion of its first phase and was progressing into phase 2 when Covid hit, so as it stands, it represents a fairly coherent body of work by the residents of Castletownbere Community Hospital. The aim of the project is to explore the possibilities of working without a subject: participants initially found this idea quite challenging, but soon ‘got into it’, and couldn’t wait to get started every week, revelling in colour and form, and unhampered by self-imposed criteria regarding artistic ability.
Participants’ confidence in their own decision-making has grown apace and individual styles have blossomed, while a strong collaborative trend has developed with people working together on the same piece, or continuing a painting/drawing which someone else started (with their permission of course), with a work often being picked up time and again over the weeks before it is declared finished.
The culmination of phase one is the sculpture made using cut-out shapes from the participants’ own paintings. The group were amazed to see their work literally jumping off the flat surface and they enjoy the complete freedom of interpretation which the abstract theme lends itself to. The group inspires itself from the work of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Alexander Calder, Jackie Shatz, William Crozier, Michael Sheehan and many more.
Staff and participants alike have been delighted by the colour and originality in the work, which stays on the walls and windowsills of the day room between sessions. To quote one staff member: “I love going in there and seeing all that colour and creativity – the shapes, the imagination – beautiful! No matter what way my day is going it always makes me feel better.” We hope you enjoy the exhibition (I have included work by each of the 15 or so participants) and we look forward to continuing with our work in the future.’