Saturday, 1 December 2018

Case Study of 'Life Outside the Box'

Dear friends,

It is with pleasure to announce that the funders of the Life Outside the Box Project: Create - Artist in the Community Scheme/ Arts Council of Ireland, published a case study of our project.
still from 'Life Outside the Box puppetry film
Filming Life Outside the Box  at Dungarvan Shopping centre

Case Study can be read in full HERE

Abstracts from the case study: 


The Monday group of the IWA-Dungarvan Resource Centre, of which Corina was a member at the time, consisted of about twelve members. Participants ranged in age from 27 till 73, male and female, living with either limited/partial mobility; congenital physical disabilities; long term illness, which also impacts on the finer motor skills; or acquired brain injuries.

Aims – What was the vision behind the project?

The IWA’s aim was to stimulate and/or rekindle involvement in the creative process, exploring new avenues for creative expression within the individual’s current ability; To empower the members by having input in this long-term group project, from start to finish.
The Artist’s vision was to make sure that all the members were part of the project. As Corina had been a member of this group for almost a year, she had a good understanding of her fellow member’s challenges and abilities. IWA staff was there to assist all members including the artist.

Artistic Outputs

The group created nine puppets, a large ‘disability box’ and large hand; a booklet which documents to process, and a short film. Members were invited to create their individual pages in the book, with some input from a local graphic designer. Every draft of the book was shared, edited and approved by the members and staff. Local filmmaker Alan O’Callaghan filmed the puppets stepping out of the Box at our local shopping centre, chosen as a public place to interact with the public.
Initial launches were held at Dungarvan and Waterford libraries. One of the puppet makers Mark Foley gave a wonderful talk about the project and what it meant to the group as people living with disabilities. His talk was followed by a funny and thought provoking speech by Sean Murphy, who delved into the idea of being ‘boxed’ in, for example people telling ‘you don’t know anything about [this] so don’t even try’. He suggested to ‘do it anyway’.
The group curated the ‘Dis-ability … This Ability’ exhibition at the Tramore Coastguard Cultural Centre to highlight our puppets. For this they created a series of blank notebooks, with images of our puppets on the cover.


Apart from the empowering effect of the project for participants, the project received a lot of interest from the media and the public. The launches and exhibition were well documented in local newspapers, as well as being subject of interviews on WLR FM. Arts and Disability Ireland supported the launches/exhibition on their website.
The film was screened at the Picture This… Film Festival in Calgary, Canada (2017). To coincide with this, the film was shown for one week before every movie in the group’s local cinema. The film was also selected for the Together! 2017 Disability Film Festival, London.
A one-minute adapted version is screened every three months as part of the People’s Angelus on RTE1 television. This resulted in RTE’s Nationwide visiting Corina’s house and studio to interview Corina and Ann O’Grady, one of the IWA members to talk about the project.

Project review by Andrea Lloyd - IWA Service Coordinator at the time of the project.

"This project always had the potential to be exciting from the very beginning. Even though we have ended up with a fantastic end product, for us it has always been about the process. The project has provided service users with focused activity for many months. As each week has gone by the anticipation of what might be possible has grown. Each service user has developed their puppet into real characters, with completely different personalities.
"Whilst the project became all about the puppets coming out of their box, in reality it was the service users that also ‘came out of their box’ to realise that they could do much more than they thought they were capable of. From creating the puppets, to writing press releases and presenting the project to the public at the launch, service users have been in control. They have taken complete ownership of the project at every stage. They have made the decisions and directed the launch and associated press and PR with minimal support from IWA staff. 
"The project has raised the profile of both the IWA locally and provided the opportunity for people with physical disabilities to be seen in a positive light… An excellent project with positive benefits for all involved”.

Case Study can be read in full HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment