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My Award for "Free as a Bird"

EVE New Horizon Participant

My name is Maureen and I am a participant in the EVE New Horizon HUB, Tallaght. I feel so lucky to be part of the HUB. It is a person-centred service which allows me to not only set and met personal goals but to also do things I really enjoy, especially my art and poetry writing. Partaking in these classes is paramount to my mental health recovery. The team here in New Horizon HUB also work closely with my Occupational Therapist, Claire Gaffney, in Sheaf House Tallaght. It was Claire who recommended I enter the competition for the cover design. I was absolutely delighted and honoured to find out I won.

In November 2017 I received a beautiful glass trophy presented to me by the wife of the late Doctor Dermot Walsh. I am the first person to win the Dr. Dermot Walsh Memorial Award for the NPIRS Report cover design competition for the Health Research Board. The event was held in Grattan House, Grand Canal Dock.

Dr Walsh was an eminent psychiatrist in the field of mental health. The legacy he has left behind has greatly influenced the care and treatment of people with mental health issues. He will be greatly missed, but not forgotten for his contribution in all levels of psychiatry.

The design I painted is a very colourful bird on a black background. If you tilt the design slightly you can see an orange sky with white clouds and two seagulls, blending down with the sea that turns from green to blue, and where the sky meets the sea there are two little white sailboats in the distance. I called the design Free as a Bird.

I created the design by painting with acrylics on a shiny piece of white card. I blended the colours and then cut the card into the shape of a bird. I then scratched out the design with a pin. I stuck the bird shape onto the black background. The black background represents coming from the dark into the light and being free as a bird.

Receiving the Award was a great honour for me and the presentation was a very memorable occasion.  Of all the psychiatrists I’ve met over the years I regret not meeting the brilliant Dr. Walsh.



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