Personal Effects

Artist Name(s) Jennie Moran
Artwork title Personal Effects
Context/Background Over a number of weeks Jennie Moran visited Unit 4 of Merlin Park Hospital. This ward accommodates men and women who have recently experienced a stroke. For the most part these hospital guests have been referred from a nearby acute hospital for rehabilitation. During this time some patients and their families will make preparations for new living arrangements as a result of their stroke, thus rendering it a poignant time for patients and families.

The hospital institution also presents challenges for the patient; an abrupt loss of autonomy; cohabiting with strangers; an imposed schedule; lack of personal space. For the purpose of recovery, the focus of this facility must be the ailments that its users have in common. Individuals are distinguished by their medical requirements. Moran's role was to quietly observe and provide a medium for the details of lives housed in this hospital ward to emerge and become visible. 


Personal Effects is a project which aims to uninstitutionalise the hospital through the illumination of its inhabitants' stories. This is done by slowly gathering fragments of lives from individuals passing through the institution and allowing these details and narratives to reappear on hospital items, such as pillowcases, thereby altering the hospital landscape. These pieces of re-appropriated bed linen will also serve as a record of a very particular time for the men and women who will have contributed towards them. Certain ideas/memories can come to the fore durings period of rehabilitation, and with a degree of fragility.

It seemed appropriate also to keep these thoughts physically close to the patients. Sleep becomes an extremely important function during neurological rehabilitation. It provides a respite from the conscious effort of relearning and a release for the imagination.


A publication on the project.


Jennie Moran is a Dublin based cultural producer who uses her practice to create opportunities for hospitality. She has gathered knowledge through a degree in sculpture at the National College of Art and Design; international residencies at Fondazione Ratti, Italy and Galleria Blanda, Buenos Aires. She was selected artist-in-residence at Airfield House funded by Dun Laoghaire County Council in 2008 resulting in a solo exhibition entitled A Space That Gives You The Possibility To Think Something Else. Her projects have been facilitated by Dublin City Council Art Bursary 2006, an Arts Council Project Award 2007, and Arts Council Artist in the Community Award 2009. She has worked with Kildare Local Authority, Leitrim Sculpture Centre, curators/cultural consultants Marjetica Potrc, Sally Timmons and Sarah Searson. She is also part of collaborative projects, Hope Inherent and Poetic Geographies.

Commission Type Other
Commissioner Name Galway University Hospital Arts Trust
Commissioning process Direct commission
Public Presentation dates October 13, 2009 - October 20, 2009
Partners The Arts Council
Artform Visual Arts
Funded By The Arts Council
Budget Range 0 - 10000 euro
Location Merlin Park Hospital, Galway
County Galway
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Content contributor(s) Jennie Moran
Relationship to project Artist
Public engagement

Stroke patients, Merlin Park Hospital, Galway

Associated professionals / Specialists involved

Katherine Waugh, Philosopher



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