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Together with their groups in Bantry and Clonakilty, Arts for Health artist Tess Leak and printmaker Mary Callaghan are collectively exploring loss through the creation of haiku-inspired poetry, drawing and printmaking. On winter walks in between sessions, they collect ‘haiku objects’ to bring in as starting points for drawings and conversations. Composer and multi-instrumentalist Justin Grounds who is also from the Arts for Health artists team, will be joining the group before the end of the year to co-create music as part of a spoken-word recording of their haiku collection.

A collectively-made haiku ready for sharing with the world:

unravelling loss

laughs, tears, ebb and flow of life

our haiku journey

Haiku-Shelter is part of the Compassionate Culture Network, a national initiative lead by the Irish Hospice Foundation Arts and Cultural Engagement Officer, Dominic Campbell. 7 artist-facilitators and support workers are working in 7 venues around the country have been inviting local communities to explore loss as un-lockdown happens.  The aim of the national project which Arts for Health is a part of, is to explore how creativity helps establish places where people can talk openly about loss.   

All 7 partners work as connected peers, learning from each other, with IHF bringing awareness, training and support. Each links to local supporters like bereavement networks, HSE, families and friends. The programme began with online training and information exchange in September. Group work began in October, and runs until December or early 2022. Projects build from local circumstances and opportunity.  

To find out more go to Compassionate Culture Network – Irish Hospice Foundation

The Compassionate Culture Network project in Cork is supported through the Arts for Health Partnership, managed by Uillinn West Cork Arts Centre and is in conjunction with Cork Education and Training Board.

Huge thank you to all the participants, Teresa O’Sullivan at Cork ETB and ETB Resource Workers in Clonakilty, Brid Murphy and Bantry, Dierdre Fiztgerald.