Open Window/A Clinically Useful Artwork?

Artist Name(s) Denis Roche
Artwork title Open Window/A Clinically Useful Artwork?
Context/Background The project was undertaken as a response to the expressed needs of patients in the National Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, St.James Hospital, Dublin. Patients who are in protective isolation for the treatment of leukaemia have to endure stays of up to 4 weeks with restricted access to their families and the outside world. The project is the first randomised prospective clinical trial which examines the impact of a selection of contemporary art works on a patient population

Open Window/ A Clinically Useful Artwork? forms part of an ongoing clinical research into the influence of contemporary art in an acute care environment, (the National Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, Denis Burkitt Ward, St.James's Hospital). In part one of the work Denis Roche devised a manual which outlines the behavioural parameters of a committee that convenes to approve artwork that is viewed by patients. In part two, the artwork takes the form of a social interaction whereby the artist asks the patient a series of questions relating to their stay in treatment. Following this conversation, the artist places a camera in a location that has significance to the patient. Images are transmitted every 15 minutes to a projector in the patient's room where it is shown on the wall at the foot of their bed.

Watch a video clip from RTE's Nationwide programme on the project



Denis Roche is curating artist of the Open Window Project and director of Vivartes. As an artist living and working in Ireland he has created many visual and sound art installations most recently A Clinically Useful Artwork? an installation, taking place in an isolation ward in a hospital in Dublin which he submitted for the degree of M.A in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and Currency which placed an opera singer in a duet with a Las Vegas slot-machine. As a composer he has written music for film and contemporary dance most notably for Catalyst, which was performed with the National Ballet of China and Rex Levitates Dance Company at the Meet in Beijing Festival in Beijing, China in 2004. He has written music for the film Sleepwalking starring Charlize Theron and Dennis Hopper, which premiered at the Sundance Festival, Utah, 2008. Denis was a tutor on the 2008 Arts Council funded Professional Development Course for Artists Working in Healthcare Settings, managed and produced by Create, Institute of Art and Design, Dun Laoghaire and Adelaide and Meath Hospital Dublin, incorporating the National Children's Hospital.

Commission Type The Arts Council,Other
Commissioning process Direct
Project commission dates October 30, 2001 - March 1, 2010
Artform Visual Arts,Music
Art Practice Arts Participation
Funded By The Arts Council,Other
Budget Range 250000 + euro
Project commission start date 30/10/2001
Project commission end date 01/03/2010
Location National Bone Marrow Transplant Centre, St.James Hospital
County Dublin
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Content contributor(s) Denis Roche
Relationship to project Curating artist 
Public engagement

Patients of the National Bone Marrow Transplant Centre

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Professor of Haematology

Clinical Research Nurse

Medical Physicist



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