NIGAT June Day Meeting 2014

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Art Psychotherapist Clare Boyd attended the NIGAT June Day Meeting and recalls her experiences.

June Day meeting 1


I went along to the June Day meeting full of anticipation as it had been a considerable period of time since I had last attended a day meeting.  The morning began with a presentation from Irish artists working in collaboration Ruth Clinton and Niamh Moriarty.  This presentation was enlightening and we got a real sense of the thought processes behind the pair’s recent art projects.

Ruth and Niamh have been working collaboratively since graduating from fine art at NCAD in 2010.  Their practice encompasses performance, video, sound installation and storytelling along with a detailed research process to convey visions of transience and resistance.  Their presentation included some very interesting pieces that took place in Dublin and showed parts of the city otherwise unseen.

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They note that “through fanatic acts of communication and repetition, of resurrection and preservation, we enact humanity’s struggle against overwhelming natural forces and ask how we can look beyond our limited perception of infinity.”

Recent exhibitions and publications of their work include Territory of Strangers, Broadstone Studios (2014), Active Encounter, Belfast (2014), Hill of Bones, Roscommon Arts Centre (2013) to name but a few.  To read more about their work visit

We had a break for the usual scrumptious lunch which gave us a chance to chat and get to know the visitors from America that attended our day meeting.  Joan Philips, past-President of the American Art Therapy Association, organised an exchange with American Art Therapists and interested parties to visit Ireland to look at Art Therapy, Healthcare and community issues in Ireland.  Joan approached NIGAT with an interest in attending our Day Meeting in June during their visit.  The visitors enjoyed the morning presentation and remained for the art making session in the afternoon.  This gave both attendees from Northern Ireland and America to exchange ideas, get an idea of what is taking place in Northern Ireland and America and general sharing of ideas.  Joan has experience in working with post-trauma as well as child and adolescent therapy.  She reported that love use of found objects, incorporating writing and poetry, and collaborative work with other professions.  

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We had a great afternoon of art making and sharing in the wonderful process of creativity.  Having been away from Northern Ireland for almost a year, returning in November 2013, I was really looking forward to attending the NIGAT Day Meeting.  It was everything I hoped it would be.  The presentation injected some fresh ideas for art making and the process of collaboration.  The art making in the afternoon allowed me the time and space for my own creativity.  It was a great privilege to hear and chat to our visitors as well and I came away feeling energised and recharged.