Quilter Geraldine O’Keefe of Newport Women’s Shed is one of Creative Brain Week’s artists-in-residence this week. Accompanied by Una Patton, from today Tuesday March 7th until Thursday March 9th, Geraldine will be creating two quilts and chatting with attendees during the Living Labs creative programme. One of these quilts will consist of patches of fabric contributed by speakers and attendees from as far afield as East Africa and Peru.
Ireland is filled with near invisible groups that support us with magical moments. That provide a regular heartbeat at the heart of our communities. That bring a little comfort and immense joy.
Neuroscientists know that Brain Health is dependent on these types of groups. They knit us into the fabric of the world, reduce the possibility of loneliness, nurture friendships, introduce new ideas, experiences, and learning that stimulates the brain and keeps it healthy as we age. They’re particularly important in moments when our life story is fractured, when we’re faced with the conflict of a diagnosis of ill health, or when a beloved dies.
IHF, with the support of Creative Ireland, is continuously identifying and supporting these groups, making their quiet value more visible and articulating their very many strengths.
In 2022, Newport Women’s Shed in Tipperary were funded by IHF, generously supported by Creative Ireland, as part of its Seed Grant programme. Guided by quilter Geraldine O’Keeffe, they met every week to create a queen-size patchwork quilt. Each member designed their own square that was a dedicated reflection on the loss of a lost loved one.
As artist-in-residence during Creative Brain Week, Geraldine O’Keefe will be starting two quilts and inviting attendees to join her for a chat. Attendees, both domestic and international, from as far afield as Peru and East Africa, will bring fabric to be part of these quilts. One will become home to names of beloved people, while the other will be filled with “beautiful moments”.
It’s a project like these quilts, to wrap around you when you’re feeling the cold, that support us with magical moments.