Helium Arts Online Art Programme

Helium Arts Online Art Programme

Teenagers with cystic fibrosis face barriers when it comes to connecting and conversing with each other: due to cross-infection issues.  Helium Arts and Waterford Healing Arts Trust (WHAT) will pilot an online art programme for young teenagers with CF in spring 2019 to support these connections and create a space for the development of creative skills. The programme will take place in partnership with Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA).

The learning methods will support a group art journaling experience for 10 teenagers aged 13-16. Using digital tools and online mediated meet-ups along with access to professional artist mentors in person and online, participants will benefit from the development of collaborative arts practice with a community of peers and the exploration of personal stories. Artist Rachel Tynan, who has worked on Helium’s artist in residence and community art programmes since 2012, is the lead artist. The programme is free for participants.

Aims and Objectives

  •  Increase access to the arts for young people with Cystic Fibrosis
  • Develop an ability and awareness to communicate creatively
  • Reduce social isolation and increase wellbeing
  • Connect young people with CF in an online creative environment
  • Engage with the Freud Gaze exhibition at IMMA as a starting point for inspiration
  • Develop a process of brainstorming and idea generation through journaling
  • Create an opportunity for young people to share their work at the end of the project


This project will support 10 teenagers' participation over 6 online sessions between March and May 2019. Rachel Tynan will deliver the sessions supported by Emma Eager, project manager with Helium Arts. Collaborative filmmaker Linda Curtin and artist Dennis Roche will be guest mentors.

Content will be led by the participants but will include a ‘virtual’ gallery experience, exploring six artworks from IMMA’s Freud Gaze exhibition, alongside writing, illustration/painting, storyboarding and graphic/visual harvesting. Participants will learn art journaling methods, self-reflection, improvisation and resourcefulness.

The programme will include a 'What next' activity to define future steps and we will explore project sustainability to determine future roll-out to further members. Over the course of the project, online resources will be created include Online Journaling Guides and How to Videos.

February – May 2019

  •  February: Filming of gallery experience for online sessions
  • March: Artist Rachel Tynan will meet the young people in their home environments before the online sessions begin
  • Saturday 23rd March: First online session
  • April – May: The programme will run Wednesday afternoons or Saturdays following the initial session, depending on participant preference
  • The final session will incorporate a showing of work, giving participants the opportunity to share their work and ideas with a wider audience. The participants will join the showing virtually to reflect on the work and their experiences of the project.

To request a place on this course please contact Samantha Byrne without delay on 01 4962433 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.