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The placement follows a flexible 16-week programme of shadowing, planning and delivery under the supervision of Arts for Health (AfH) visual artist, Sarah Ruttle.

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At the outset, the placement artist will shadow an AfH artist to establish the basics: meet the artists’ team, navigate the working environment, take a supporting role during weekly workshops and get to know the care staff and the participants’ interests and capacity.


The next step is for the Placement Artist to establish a project plan for the programme with the Arts for Health Artist. The plan must fit into the overall programme aims and must prioritise the welfare and cultural requirements of the participants. It should provide creative opportunities for the residents in the long-stay unit, supporting access to and engagement with the arts for older people in this context. It should offer an element of challenge and interest beyond standard transferral of skills and reflect the artist’s professional practice. It can be in any art form. The level of collaboration with the AfH Artist can be negotiated at this stage.


The Placement Artist should take a lead role in the delivery of the arts project with a small group of older residents in the long-stay unit. The supervising artist will advise where appropriate, initially offering holding support and observing throughout the session.

The Placement Artist is expected to learn about and engage in best practice: this includes documenting their work, keeping a reflective journal, attending team meetings, engaging in pre and post workshop discussion and submitting documentary evidence of the experience, along with a short written report.


Three hours are spent in the unit (Clonakilty) on Mondays from 9.30am 12.30pm, inclusive of workshop preparation, pre and post session meetings, with a further hour dedicated to meetings, research and support work. See letter of agreement for detailed schedule.

  • 3 hours each week on site for 16 weeks
  • 16 hours for support work, journaling, documenting, meetings and report

About Sarah Ruttle

Sarah has been working on the ArtsforHealth programme intermittently since 2008. She also currently works with West Cork Mental Health Care services and groups supported by West Cork BTEI and VEC. She offers participants the opportunity to explore art through a broad spectrum of media and techniques. Sarah gives participants the choice of working through their creativity with a structure or with freedom, allowing them opportunities to acknowledge their abilities and develop their strengths.

Sarah Ruttle graduated from a Bachelor of Design in Textiles (University of Dundee, Scotland) in 2002. Sarah took part in a Professional Development Course for Artists working in Health Care Settings Run by Create, Arts Council, IADT Dun Laoghaire and The Adelaide & Meath Hospital Dublin, 2008, developing her knowledge and insight for work with Arts and Health. She is inspired by pattern in everyday life, portraiture and the influence of diverse cultures in people’s lives. Sarah uses line drawings, textiles, mixed media and photography in the development of her work, creating collections of artwork as well as one-off pieces.