Carrowbeg Artists collective and the Custom House Studios: Westport

People involved in Screen Printing

2010 – A screen-printing training project

A series of eight screen-printing training workshops for service users from Carrowbeg enterprises facilitated by artists Caroline Masterson and John McHugh at the Custom House Studios, Westport. The workshops culminated in an exhibition of artwork which was launched on 24th February 2011.


“Throughout the workshops the participants grew in confidence and were proud of their work. They produced enough excellent quality work to hold an exhibition which proved to be a great success. The workshops were so successful that we were asked to extend the project by the participating group”. (John Mc Hugh, director, Custom House Studios)

Mayo Artsquad, Rural Training Centre, National Learning Network, and the Connaught Creative Resource Centre: Castlebar.

Two men painting a canvas backdrop with a mannequin spectator. All taking place at the Mayo Artsquad website.

An interactive arts workshop in clay, weaving and painting, facilitated by Mayo Artsquad with a group of sixteen disabled adults from: the Rural Training Centre, the Connaught Creative Resource Centre and the National Learning Network. The workshops took place over a full day at the Artsquad Building, Castlebar.



“Everyone commented that they had a great day and said that if it were to become a regular occurrence they would definitely come again. From an Artsquad perspective we feel this format works well for a public event. As the participants make the choices around which activity they do and how long they want to spend at it. The informal approach creates an open atmosphere to the workshop and the idea of exploring and experimenting with materials comes to the fore”. (Mick smith, Artsquad supervisor)

Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina and Ballina Arts Centre

Bongo drummers sat on a stage area in a half circle.

“Sound Warriors”

Sound Warriors was a percussion programme, facilitated and designed by percussionist Anthony McNamee. 20 members of the Ridgepool Training Centre, Ballina, participated on a series of 12 workshops during which they developed performance skills on Djembe, Cajon, Bongos, as well as a wide range of other percussion instruments. On 1st December 2016, the group performed Let Us Be Heard, a new percussion piece to an audience of 150 attendees at Ballina Arts Centre.


“The facilitator, Anthony McNamee, has a very good working approach. His personality is well suited to working with people with disabilities. He also carefully planned the programme of workshops so that when the time for the event came around, the group were ready to perform the pieces they had learned and were enthusiastic to do so.”

(Sean Walsh, Director, Ballina Arts Centre)

Pat Youell, Maura Gilligan and the Rural Training Centre, Castlebar

Pat Yoell Image rural training centre


A series of 10 visual arts and creative writing workshops on the theme of nature and the natural cycle of the year, facilitated by visual artist Pat Youell and poet/writer Maura Gilligan to 40 participants made up of children from the two senior classes at St. Anthony’s School and service users at the Rural Training Centre. The workshops culminated in an exhibition of Silk Hangings, presented to an audience of 65 attendees on 2nd December 2016 at the Rural Training Centre.



“This project worked extremely well on several levels – from the early experimental stages huge enthusiasm was encountered among both the pupils of St. Anthony’s and the adults from the Rural Training Centre. The gathering of natural materials to be used in the dyeing process gave people choice in the preparation of their work, the camaraderie of the groups in working together towards a creative end, the writing workshops which drew out words to describe the artistic experience, the use of all the senses in the process – all made for a very inclusive and enjoyable series of sessions”. (Pat Youell, Artist)

Katie Moore, Visual Artist


“My Clinical Life”

Using her own hair and hospital bandages, Artist Katie Moore created a large hospital gown which was exhibited alongside a number of smaller gowns made from gauze and wire. The work was inspired by her experience of living with a disability. The resultant exhibition was launched in a public area at the University Hospital, Castlebar on 2nd December 2016 to an audience of 25 attendees.



Katie was surprised at the number of people who engaged with her about the artwork whilst attending the hospital. My exhibition of work was on display at Mayo University Hospital, so people who would not regularly attend a gallery got to view the work. The awareness went on after the exhibition, as it featured twice in the Western People newspaper”. (Katie Moore, Visual Artist)

Poet Paul Durcan and the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar

“The Days of Surprise”

An Irish Sign Language interpreted Poetry Reading and engagement programme at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar. Poet Paul Durcan and Irish sign language interpreter Mairéad Hegarty facilitated 11 workshops to 13 students from transition year at St Joseph’s Secondary School and nine Irish Sign Language users from around the region culminating in a sign language interpreted poetry reading to an audience of 139 on 3rd December 2015.



“The members of the deaf community who engaged with the project really committed to it, and turned up to all the practice sessions, rehearsals and performance. None were familiar with Paul Durcan’s poetry and this was a whole new experience for them”. (Orla Henihan, Linenhall Arts Centre)


“I reckon I have been giving public readings for 52 years but Thursday night was something else – something new and amazing to me and so long as I have a memory I will cherish every minute of it and indeed of the entire 4-day trip.  Working with Orla, Maura and you was special and as for Mairéad well – if the night was extra special it was Mairéad who made it so. I was astonished on Wednesday to realise how much research she had done on each poem and on Thursday night stunned by the beauty and feeling of her performance – she was in every way the star of the night”. (Paul Durcan, poet)

Luisne Art Group, Ballinrobe and the Scannán Technology group, Ballina


‘The Gift’

A series of skill sharing workshops in film and painting facilitated by artist/facilitators Breda Murphy and Silke Kauther to 12 members of the Luisne Art Project, Ballinrobe and the Scannán Technologies group, Ballina. The groups came together to experience each other’s work, swop skills and make an istop animated motion film. The project, entitled The Gift saw Luisne artists in their art studio joined by Scannan artists who came with their film cameras. The artists exchanged knowledge and ideas around their own unique work practices. Luisne artists demonstrated how they paint, draw, create their art pieces and Scannan artists showed how they use a camera and demonstrated the process of making an istop motion film. The workshops culminated in an exhibition of paintings and an istop motion film in the cafe and audio room of the Museum of Country Life, Turlough park, Castlebar which was launched to an audience of 70 on 3rd December. The exhibition ran until the end of January 2016.


“The Luisne artists had already seen Scannan’s film – Silent Moves, so they were excited about working with them. The interaction between the two groups was positive and lively”. (Breda Mayock, Luisne Art Group coordinator)


” The film was made about what the artists like most about Christmas and what part they are best at and the last part of the film is about gift giving – so it all interlinks and entwines in a meaningful way  together”.

(Breda Mayock, Luisne Art Group coordinator)

St Bríds school, St Anthony’s school and the Linenhall Arts Centre

St. Brids and St Anthony's 2014

‘Fruit Full’

A series of workshops and the presentation of nine performances of “Fruit Full”, a multi-sensory performance at the Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar for 40 students with intellectual disabilities from St Bríds and St Anthony’s schools, Castlebar by New Moon Theatre Project, Galway. Each performance of ‘Fruit Full’ is designed for an audience of five with their carer’s and explores the four seasons through the human senses. The audience gets involved in various ways including touching soil and plants and experiencing the wind in their faces. The performance was complemented by a range of participative arts workshops designed to extend and deepen audience engagement with the piece. With mood enhancing music and visuals, skilled interaction from performers and a gentle, welcoming atmosphere “Fruit Full” was a deeply engaging experience for those in attendance.


“Both the Fruit Full performers and the visual art workshop designers reported that these participant profiles were very useful for them in preparing for the delivery of their respective elements in the project”. (Orla Henihan, Arts Access officer, Linenhall Arts Centre)


“As a school we’ve been to lots of workshops events. I felt a lot of work went into this to meet all our children’s needs. I felt it was the best event we’ve attended as a school. Well done! Thank You”! (Teacher, St Bríd’s school)


On the day of  the preview / pre-show workshop there was a real feeling of delight when the teachers realised that the show was in fact tailor made for their students”. (Orla Henihan, Arts Access Officer, Linenhall Arts Centre)

Carrowbeg Artists Collective, Westport and Custom House Studios, Westport


“Drawing the Greenway”

A collaborative project made up of a series of 16 half day workshops facilitated by artists Grainne O’Reilly, Caroline Masterson and photographer Michelle McCarron, with artists from Carrowbeg Enterprises, Westport, culminating in the filming of Drawing the Greenway, a 10 minute shadow show, based on The Greenway. The film was contemporary to the Greenway as it is today, yet reminiscent of old black and white films and overlaid with piano music by Aisling Smith. The film was shown to an audience of 56 on 3rd December. The work also formed part of the Custom House annual end of year Winter Exhibition.


“It was reassuring to observe how well the participants engaged with the idea of making a shadow show from their drawing and printmaking imagery, and how easily they adapted to the idea of recording the shadow on video. They obviously enjoyed the video and were able to make a connection between the process of drawing, printing, cutting out, making the shadow show and the recorded video”. (John McHugh, Director, Custom House Studios)

Luisne Art Group, dance artist Rachel Parry & visual artist Breda Murphy

Rachel Parry Image

‘Open Arms’


An exhibition and video work, produced by the Luisne Art Group in Ballinrobe. Arising from a series of Movement and Dance Workshops facilitated by artist Rachel Parry alongside ongoing visual arts workshops facilitated by artist Breda Murphy, this new work encouraged the artists to work with physical movement and big gestures. They produced large-scale type artworks which were bold and colourful.  The exhibition and DVD were launched at an event in Tacú Family resource centre, Ballinrobe on December 3rd. The artworks were later installed in the grounds of The National Museum of Ireland – Country Life, Turlough, for the duration of Feile Na Tuaithe, seen by over 25,000 visitors. Click here to view the video


“Luisne artists had the opportunity to engage for the first time in dance movement workshops This provided the group with a chance to experiment with a new medium, which in itself proved challenging at times but equally encouraged members to test themselves in a supported manner”. —“Dance movement by its nature as a new medium meant the engagement of the body, and a requirement that members would become increasingly aware of their own bodies and their movement. … These workshops provided inspiration for a visual artistic response to this increased awareness”. (breda Mayock, Luisne coordinator)