Award winning artists Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly, who live and work between Paris and Ireland, were selected to develop the 2017-2018 art-science project with the Westside community using the research being carried out at CÚRAM as their inspiration. CÚRAM, the Science Foundation Ireland Centre for Research in Medical Devices based at NUI Galway together with Galway City Arts Office commissioned the new Community Art-Science project for Westside community in Galway City. Cleary Connolly’s highly engaging artworks focus on vision, perception of space and the relationship with the public. They design interactive environments that often integrate new technologies and with this project, created a permanent artwork which acknowledges the various communities of Westside and celebrates their connection to CÚRAM and the MedTech Industry.
If we have two eyes, then why is our vision so limited? Why don’t our two eyes offer us two different views of the world? Why don’t they allow us to look behind and in front at the same time, or sideways in both directions? Cleary Connolly’s meta-perceptual helmets ingeniously invite us to set aside our preconceptions and to experience things in ways quite different from the norm. Wearing the helmets, you become a hybrid creature yourself, part human, part machine, part animal, but also: part work of art. During Science week 2017, CÚRAM, together with Galway City Council, invited the people of Westside to come and join the artists, Cleary Connolly, to experience the helmets in workshops at the Westside Resource Centre. Anne Cleary and Denis Connolly talked about their current research and how it overlaps with current CÚRAM research. Sarah Jarrin, Gráinne Nielsen, Marggie Jones, Maura Tilbury, and Delphine Antoine from CÚRAM discussed their research. The people of Westside shared their experiences of the workshops and sat for portraits.