“Promoting the use of art and creativity to facilitate personal well-being.”

Spring Newsletter 2015

NIGAT's Spring Newsletter is now available! Please click on the following link to view: Newsletter Spring 2015

Newsletter Spring 2015 Page 1

NIGAT June Day Meeting 2014

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.

NIGAT Day meeting 2 NIGAT Day meeting 3

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 http://cargocollective.com/ruthandniamh

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.  

NIGAT Day meeting 10

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.  



NIGAT Summer School Reflections

Jayne McConkey attended the 22nd NIGAT Summer School in Corrymela and writes a reflection on the weekend.

S School 3

We have gathered together under a full moon, and blue skies heavy laden with thunder and sodden clouds, slashes of rainbow, broken cloud beams and sunsets.


We have gathered to the sound of waves washing treasures ashore, songs soaked in firelight and conversation weaving connections through meals that nourish more than the body.


We have gathered bringing with us our stories and histories, our spaces and resources, bearing witness to our collective primal creating, we seek allies to help us inhabit well.


We have gathered the threads, adorning transformative ritual and bundling messages of individual hope, protesting restricted movements, we weave and dance together.


We have gathered trusting the laughter and tears to take us somewhere, exploring access points to bridging engagement with ourselves and others, moving beyond solitary. 

S School 2

We have gathered within unseen borders, face to face we hear the ripples of our interdependence meet the shores of our own fears, tears and joys.


We have gathered in greatness, stealing wisdom where we touch it, sending our stories into the world, alive to be heard as they will, hearing as we will and opening our hearts to moments of transformation.


We have gathered to walk, stretch, breathe and sing, to sculpt, print, ink, paint and play, to weave, stitch, build, explore and be.


We now leave with bundles of moments, captured on the canvas of our own collective creating, threads marking stories to nourish a new day, connecting us to the clay beneath and within us, alive to renewed possibilities of full life and the hopes of creative encounter. 

S School 4




Peace paper pic 3

Earlier this year NIGAT members had the unique opportunity to join in a workshop with the ‘Peace Paper Workshop’.

The Peace Paper Project works to empower healing arts communities by introducing collaborative art processes that foster positive forward thinking, enhanced communication and peaceful reconciliation.

Through hand papermaking, writing, book and printmaking activities, they work to transform significant articles of clothing into works of art that broadcast personal stories, mutual understanding and healing.


NIGAT members were given the opportunity to bring something(s) that they wanted to transform into paper.  Utilizing an age old technique of making paper by hand (from old garments/ cloth), participants used both traditional and contemporary applications of the paper arts. 

Clare Boyd, Art Therapist and member of NIGAT attended the event and commented on her experience.

“I was really interested in the process of paper making and this workshop was amazing in allowing me to do this from the beginning to the end,” said Clare.

“I cut up my materials to transform and then watched them going through the pulping machine.  Then this matter went into the basins of water and we used the square sive like template that we dunked into the water and watched the fibres form a page.

We then were able to pick from a selection of thought provoking stencils that we were able to use dye spray with and create images on our pages.  I was really moved by the process and mesmerised by the finished works,” she added.

The Peace Paper Project believe that once the paper is made, it becomes the foundation for expressive content in the form of hand drawn images, texts photographs/prints as a means of telling individual stories.

NIGAT would like to thank Drew Matott and Margaret Mahon for sharing their time and skill with those who attended the workshop.  For more information on their work visit www.peacepaperproject.org