Bronagh Corr McNicholl is the Arts Care Visual Artist-in-residence at the Western Health and Social Care Trust. She delivers her arts service into Altnagelvin Hospital, Derry, Older People’s Services, Mental Health Services, Cancer Services and Young People’s Services. The beneficiaries are from across the above services. Bronagh highlights in her ‘story’ the on-going project in the North West Cancer Hospital where the beneficiaries are service users, their families and healthcare staff from the hospital.
As an Arts Care Artist-in-residence working throughout health environments in the Western Health and Social Care Trust, I have always enjoyed and valued the artist/ service user collaboration and champion the idea that we can work creatively together towards a sense of well being. Fundamental to my work has been the relationship to nature, through painting, drawing, photography or whatever art form I feel is right for the service user. The importance of making small connections in the world around us and standing still is core to my creative practice. For example, over the course of a number of pop up workshops in the NW Cancer Hospital waiting rooms working with staff and service users, facilitated the creation of a number of Floral, Botanical style painting workshops. The finished paintings were used to create ceiling panels above the cancer ward treatment assessment bed. Another project involved installing large scale photographic digital images of nature by busy staff areas to encourage positive mental health in working environments. These types of installations mean that during the Lock Down I can continue working with NHS staff via email in a participatory way, as they make the creative choices on their future environmental installations.
Whilst missing the service user relationship, in some ways, I feel the slowing down of life during this pandemic has brought a lot of positive attributes I try to instil in my work; taking the time to enjoy nature, explore our creativity, through art, cooking, gardening, dancing and most importantly to explore who we are and what is really important to us as individuals.
If anything this pandemic has taught us, it is we are all creative beings, we can pivot, adapt, change, we can find a new normal, we can support each other, care for each other, enjoy the process of creating art without worrying about the end result, we can all do our bit towards a new and kinder civilisation.
Originally from Tyrone, I have been living in Derry City for the past 12 yrs. I work as an artist/photographer/facilitator. I am married and the mother of two teenage sons.
My own photography conveys the small narratives and moments in both people and nature, observing the small detail in a fast paced world.
Whilst I work predominantly in photography I work across all disciplines of mixed media crossing over to include oils, film, audio, literature and sculptural/found elements in some of my work. I have completed an MA in Film and Television and am about to embark on a PhD practice based research degree. Film nature, and the photographic image continues to influence my professional work.