Waterford Residential Care Centre

Artist Name(s) Conall Cary & Peter McMorris
Artwork title Waterford Residential Care Centre
Context/Background The Health Service Executive (HSE) developed a new 100-bed residential care centre in the grounds of St. Patrick's Hospital Waterford, a former Union Workhouse in 2019/20. The new unit is called Waterford Residential Care Centre and comprises of two 30 bed units and two 20 bed units. The unit links with the existing hospital via a glazed link to the north, and directly with the western end of the mortuary chapel - a protected structure to be refurbished internally and externally, forming a new main entrance and foyer for the hospital and new unit. As part of this development the HSE secured funding under the Per Cent for Art Scheme to commission artworks for the new unit. A HSE working group was established at the outset of this project to commission an artist to create ambitious and original work to be displayed at the new unit. The working group developed a brief for artists. Three artists were shortlisted from a panel of artists to develop ideas and respond to the context. Whilst the themes were left open, it was hoped that the artworks should be: cheerful, colourful, warm and bright; welcoming; portray WRCC as a caring place; be conversation piece(s). Residents of St. Patrick’s Hospital overwhelmingly stated that they wished for the new Waterford Residential Care Centre to ‘move away from the early dark times of the workhouse in the 1900s to light times reflecting a caring, warm place’.

Six laser-cut and etched brass artworks inspired by the local landscape and contributions from service users and staff of a residential care centre in Waterford.

The Rose Window artwork was created in response to the protected and unique space in the main foyer of WRCC. It is a contemporary piece that also connects strongly to the historic architecture. The shape of the main foyer is cathedral like in its height and length, and the artists wanted to emphasize and amplify this by proposing a contemporary manifestation of the beautiful and iconic rose window that traditionally illuminated vaulted church knaves. For this piece Cary and McMorris took inspiration from the stunning views from the Comeragh Mountains out over Coumshinguan Lake in Waterford. This immersive view has been etched across the surface of the bright and colourful brass panels, aiming to imbue the space with a feeling of hope and warmth from the sun’s rays.

A household artwork is located at the entrance of each of the four households in this building. The artworks incorporate geometric forms that subtly reference and invert the shape found in the rose window artwork in the main foyer. These artworks were created by etching cuttings taken from local flora into brass panels, along with contributed text from both service users and staff that involve the names of townlands, characters from around Waterford, buildings and places that people wish to be remembered, as well as words from a poem or song that hold importance or meaning.

The courtyard artwork aims to maximise the feelings of rest and mindfulness created by the environment in the main courtyard. It is bright and tactile, simple and engaging, and it explores natural materials combined with imagery of the landscape. The piece has been created by laser cutting hand drawn silhouettes of foliage and vegetation into brass, and then further etching photographic imagery of the Waterford coastline across the surface.


Conall Cary is a visual artist and printmaker based out of Ireland. After studies at the University of Oregon, he went on to study at the Centre for Creative Arts & Media in Galway, and recently completed an MA in Digital Cultures from University College Cork. He has exhibited widely throughout Ireland and internationally, and has completed residencies in Scotland, Finland, Ireland and America. He has been supported by The Arts Council, Galway City Arts Office, Wicklow County Arts Office, and Cork City Arts Office. He has been awarded Per Cent for Art Commissions in Cork (2014/2018), Sligo (2015), Mayo (2017), and Waterford (2019/2020), with a focus on an Arts & Health environment. Since 2014, Conall has worked as the Print Media Technician at the C.I.T. Crawford College of Art & Design. Website: conallcary.com.

Peter McMorris completed a BA in Fine Art at the Crawford College of Art and Design and graduated with a first class honours degree in 2005. He works in various artistic mediums enjoying the flexibility of exploring new techniques. He has exhibited throughout Ireland and internationally in Spain, China and America. Within his practice he creates site specific permanent artworks, engaging with communities, staff, stakeholders and professionals. He has completed a number of public art commissions including HSE, South Lee Mental Health Unit Per Cent for Art Commission, Cork; Nenagh Hospital Per Cent for Art Commission, Tipperary; Tullamore Rights for the Elderly Art Commission, Offaly; Mountmellick Library and Art Gallery Per Cent for Art Commission, Laois. His work is held in a number of public and private art collections including the Tyndall Institute, H.S.E. State Art Collections, O.P.W. State Art Collections and University College Cork. Website: petermcmorris.com

Commission Type Other state agency
Commissioner Name Health Service Executive
Project commission dates January 9, 2019 - March 1, 2020
Public Presentation dates March 1, 2020 - December 31, 2036
Partners Waterford Healing Arts Trust
Artform Visual Arts
Art Practice Arts and health
Funded By The HSE
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 10000 - 30000 euro
Project commission start date 09/01/2019
Project commission end date 01/03/2020
Location Waterford Residential Care Centre
County Waterford
Town Waterford
Street Address Passage Way
Content contributor(s) Claire Meaney
Relationship to project Project Manager
Public engagement

Residents of Waterford Residential Care Centre were part of the working group who commissioned the artwork. Conall and Peter engaged with residents and staff to gather contributed texts for the household artworks that include the names of townlands, characters from around Waterford, buildings and places that people wish to be remembered, as well as words from a poem or song that hold importance or meaning.



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