Building a Better Health Service


An Exhibition to Lift the Spirits in Waterford

An exhibition of artwork at University Hospital Waterford (UHW) will make it ‘a better place for everyone and help to lift people’s spirits’.

Dungarvan artist Sinead Hehir’s paintings were selected via a public vote for the ‘A Better Place’ exhibition strand at the hospital. The exhibition was launched on Wednesday, with guest speaker, poet Edward Denniston.

This annual exhibition, organised by Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT), is decided via an open competition, with artists submitting a sample of their artwork to be considered and voted on for full exhibition.

Submissions were received from 63 artists and were on public view at UHW from February to April, with Sinead’s artwork receiving the highest number of votes.

Claire Meaney, Acting Arts Director of WHAT, said, “Congratulations to Sinead on being selected for this year’s A Better Place exhibition. WHAT believes that the original artworks at University Hospital Waterford make it a better place for everyone and help to lift people’s spirits during what can sometimes be a difficult time.

“We are particularly pleased that a local artist was selected through open competition and are delighted that everyone will get a chance to see Sinead’s work in a full, vibrant show.”

Sinead is a Dungarvan artist renowned for her paintings of local landscapes.

 “I’m thrilled, really delighted to be here exhibiting my work. I would like to express my thanks to everyone who engaged with the voting process of A Better Place and to Waterford Healing Arts Trust for providing this opportunity for artists. It is an honour to have been chosen as the winning artist and I’m very excited and privileged to get this chance to exhibit more of my work at University Hospital Waterford,” revealed Sinead.

People were encouraged to vote for a work not just for its aesthetic quality but also for its positive impact, primarily on patients in the hospital setting.

The exhibition will be on view until August 28th.


Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) is Ireland’s leading arts and health programme. Established in 1993, it brings art experiences to the bedsides of patients at University Hospital Waterford and other healthcare settings. They believe that the arts contribute to the wellbeing and vitality of society and that engaging with the arts stimulates our sense of identity and creativity.

There are many layers to WHAT’s work. As well as a range of artistic endeavours and exhibitions for and with health service users, they also engaged with the creativity of healthcare staff through the Staff Art Wall, Culture Vulture programme of cultural outings for staff, and through workshops for staff.

They reach out to the wider community through the WHAT Centre for Arts and Health, the Open Studio which provides a creative outlet for socially isolated adults, and through the annual Well festival of arts and wellbeing.