Monday, November 9th: CÚRAM, the SFI Research Centre for Medical Devices based in NUI Galway, together with the Galway Arts Office will launch a new community art science project in Ballybane this week. Images by the commissioned artist, Karen Conway, will be projected onto the Castle, John Paul Campus of the Brothers of Charity, Castlepark Road, Ballybane, between 9pm and 10pm on November 14th.

Professor Abhay Pandit, Scientific Director at CÚRAM, says: “The Artist in Residence programme at CÚRAM provides a wonderful opportunity for our researchers to work with new audiences through the medium of art. It exemplifies CÚRAM’s commitment to developing relationships with the community through art and science, and we welcome the opportunity to display Karen’s work in this captivating way.”

Award winning artist, Karen Conway, was selected in 2019 to create the CÚRAM community art science commission for the east side communities of Ballybane and Doughiska. Karen worked closely with CÚRAM researchers Dr Pau Redon Lurbe, a member of Professor William Wijns research team, on the area of cardiovascular research. Professor Wijns is an expert in cardiology and is leading a research project, which will develop wearable sensors to alert patients at high risk of heart attacks to triggers such as stress or high blood pressure.

In addition to cardiovascular research, Conway also looked at routine laboratory techniques with Dr Jill McMahon and Dr Olena Kudina in the CÚRAM laboratories where she completed extensive photographic research.

Artist Karen Conway says: “It was a wonderful opportunity to work with all the CÚRAM/NUI scientists in the laboratories and learn about their research. This enabled me to promote their scientific work through engagement with the local communities of Galway’s Eastside. It was especially inspiring to explore this Art/Science connection through engagement with all the amazing students of Merlin College, with the young people in the Ard Centre, Doughiska and all the children who attended the Ballybane Library workshop”.

Karen has created a series of drawings using pencil and ink inspired by her work with CÚRAM researchers and members of the communities of Ballybane and Doughiska. The theme of active travel for heart health was incorporated into the work following a meeting with a community liaison panel made up of community representatives.

CÚRAM will also project the community art science project AfterImage at the Westside and both projects will be projected at the Spanish Arch Galway on November 14th.

Timings are as follows:

  • 6-7pm – North Galway CAMHS, Ballard House, Bothar le Cheile, Westside, Galway- Cleary Connolly’s After Image project
  • 7.30 – 8.30 – Comerford House, Spanish Arch – Karen Conway and Cleary Connolly
  • 9pm – 10pm – Castle, John Paul Campus of the Brothers of Charily, Castlepark Road, Ballybane- Karen Conway

A film documenting Karen Conway’s Pressure project will be released in November on CÚRAM’s website.

CÚRAM’s public engagement programme ‘Breaking Barriers’ supports the Science Foundation Ireland goal of having the most engaged and scientifically informed public.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the three permanent pieces will be installed in Ballybane Library, the Ard Family Resource Centre, and Merlin College School later in 2020/21. View the full exhibition of work ‘Pressure’ here.