Sustaining the Self

Online workshop for arts + health community, 23 June

Artist Marie Brett has announced details of a virtual workshop for the arts and health community on Tuesday 23 June at 10.00am.  Entitled Sustaining the Self, this online workshop will be led by artist Marie Brett and is designed to support self-care among those working in arts and health, particularly in the context of the seismic shift in practice since the introduction of Covid 19-related restrictions.  Open to arts practitioners, healthcare professionals and anyone working in arts and health who feel this will be beneficial to them, Sustaining the Self is free but registration is essential.  Those who register to attend will receive login details by email.  Sustaining the Self is organised by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) and Create, the national development agency for collaborative arts, and is funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.  Further details and booking information from

Sustaining the Self follows the sold out workshops led by Marie Brett and supported by Create, at Waterford Healing Arts Trust in 2019.  This year’s workshop will address the particular challenge of the current climate and will offer a creative, self-reflective space for those currently working within arts and health contexts who would like to avail of a supportive, non-judgemental, safe space to take ‘time out’ and participate in an honest, nourishing consideration of their work.  Drawing on Marie’s extensive experience and knowledge, participants will explore the concept and practice of self-reflection, assess their current ways of working, articulate their ambitions and fears, and identify current and potential supports.

At 2.30pm that afternoon, Marie Brett will host Sustaining the Self: Close Up, an additional workshop, which aims to offer a deep level of support to a small group of practitioners with significant experience in arts and health, with follow-up tutorials the next day.  These tutorials will be for two participants at a time, who will be linked together to discuss a relevant matter which has meaning and significance to them.  The paired practitioners will then undertake to stay in contact – by phone, email, post, video chat etc – connecting once a week for two months, the priority and content of their exchanges to be determined by themselves.

Additional opportunity for offline support
Recognising that internet access is not universally available for a variety of reasons, a limited number of Sustaining the Self Toolkits, created by Marie Brett, will be available by post as an alternative to participating in the workshop online.  Anyone interested in receiving this package should contact Waterford Healing Arts Trust on 086 8381625.  Please note: Due to limited availability, these will be offered on a first come first served basis.

Announcing details of Sustaining the Self, Claire Meaney, Director of Waterford Healing Arts Trust, which manages said “We are thrilled to be able to offer support to our arts and health community through this innovative workshop. has previously availed of the online platform to showcase new methods of working in our utterly changed world, but we feel it is essential now to take a breath, a moment of self-reflection and self-care, and to support everyone working in our field to do the same.  Together with our event partners Create, we are privileged to work with artist Marie Brett to bring this very special opportunity to our community.”

Arts and health programmes comprise a range of arts experiences, presented in healthcare settings, for the benefit of health service users, healthcare staff and artists.  This expanding field of work fosters creativity, wellbeing and access to the arts and is based on partnership between the artists, arts organisations and those working in healthcare and/or the wider community.   Further information about all aspects of arts and health work, including case studies, is available on is managed by Waterford Healing Arts Trust and funded by the Arts Council and the HSE.

Booking info for Sustaining the Self:
– Registration for Sustaining the Self on Tuesday 23 June at 10.00am can be completed here:
– Participation in the Sustaining the Self: Close Up small group workshop on Tuesday afternoon, 23 June at 2.30pm, and tutorials with Marie Brett on Wednesday 24 June is by application.  Please email your expression of interest (max 100 words, to include why you would like to participate in this workshop and how long you have been working in arts and health) to by Friday 12 June.  There will be a fee of €10.00 for participants.
– The Sustaining the Self Toolkits by Marie Brett for offline reflection are available from Waterford Healing Arts Trust on a first come first served basis, tel: 086 8381625.

Additional Info:
About Artist Marie Brett:
Marie Brett is a visual artist working with digital, sculptural and more recently live event media with a social practice that is trans-disciplinary and utilises collaborative and participatory methods.  Conceptually, human trauma is a core theme of Marie’s work and she often works in healthcare contexts with a special interest in hidden or stigmatised Irish experience. Recent work includes an international global justice commission exhibited at the European Parliament; a collaborative project exploring trafficking and modern-day slavery; and a performative work exploring capacity legislation with dementia carers, brain disease advocates, dancer/choreographer Philip Connaughton and partner organisations the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, IMMA and Poetry Ireland.  A graduate of Goldsmiths, London University, Marie holds MA and BA visual arts degrees and has received numerous awards for her practice.  Her work is in national and international art collections and she has had writing published in Ireland, the UK and Finland.

About Sustaining the Self partners
– Waterford Healing Arts Trust
(WHAT) brings arts experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings.  WHAT supports the development of arts and health in Ireland and manages the national website

– Create is the national development agency for collaborative arts.  Their work initiates cross-sectoral national and international partnerships which support artists and communities to co-create work of depth, ambition and excellence.  Their mission is to lead the development of collaborative arts practice by enabling artists and communities to create exceptional art together.  As a resource organisation they offer supports for artists, which include professional development, mentoring, project development support, commissioning and project opportunities, as well as research and training.  They also manage the Artist in the Community Scheme for the Arts Council.