Chronic Pain is NOT make believe
By Ciara Chapman Illustration
Large scale artwork 5th-30th September &
Culture Night Talk Friday 23rd September, 6-7pm
All At Cork Opera House
Award-winning artist Ciara Chapman will be making a BIG appearance in Cork city this September, with multi-storey artwork in the windows of Cork Opera House 5th-30th September, and a free artist talk on Friday 23rd September for Culture Night, all on the theme of “Chronic Pain is NOT make believe.”
Ciara’s beautiful, accessible artwork is a response to her own experience with chronic pain, and has been recognised by the Institute of Designers in Ireland, the World Illustration Awards in 2020 and the London International Creative Competition.
Ciara says of her latest project, taking place across September which is Pain Awareness Month, “This is a hugely exciting project for me as an artist who has a disability, having an opportunity to add to the incredible street art in Cork city. Chronic pain, whether that’s mental, physical, or emotional pain, is often invisible, but that doesn’t mean it’s not real. It couldn’t be more real to the person experiencing the pain. But all-too-common scepticism means that there’s a stigma for people like me who experience chronic pain, with implications and suspicions that we are inventing the pain we feel. At our most vulnerable point, our integrity is questioned. As I’ve titled one of the artworks which will be on display on the Opera House, ‘If only you could feel what I feel – just for a moment.’”
People will have a chance to hear Ciara talk about the “Chronic Pain is NOT make believe” project at an exclusive free artist talk and interview about large artwork at Cork Opera House on Friday 23rd September, from 6-7pm as part of Culture Night.
Ciara says, “I started to create artwork about chronic pain in 2016, as the result of an accident which changed everything. The pain resulting from the accident was beginning to change me in the worst way, so I turned to art to save me. Typically, art that explores pain tends to be graphic and a lot of the time gruesome. I decided to take my work in a different direction. I use bright colours and delicate lines to balance out the weighty themes. It’s not all doom and gloom, I also explore the light that comes out of pain, for instance the insight I’ve gained, the self-awareness, the support, and the love I have experienced.”
Accessibility and inclusion are very important to Ciara as an artist and as a person with a disability, and multiple strategies are in place to ensure that Ciara’s message will be accessible to the widest possible audience. Cork Opera House provides the most incredible space for Ciara’s artwork, being seen by a hugely diverse audience of passers-by. The artwork on the north wall of Cork Opera House’s windows will be accompanied by a QR code which when scanned, will send the listener to a SoundCloud document describing the image and the thinking and experiences behind it. The talk on Culture Night is free – as of course is the artwork on the Opera House – ensuring there is no financial barrier to audiences for either experience. The Culture Night talk will also be available to watch on Instagram channel @ciarachapmanillustration for those unable to physically attend the event at the Opera House. The characters in the artwork have been created in a way to attract and communicate with adults and children alike, helping people from a young age to learn about chronic pain.
This project has been funded by the Arts Council’s Arts and Disability Connect Scheme managed by Arts & Disability Ireland, of which Ciara says, “This award gives artists the opportunity to dream big and really challenge ourselves and what we feel we are capable of. We so easily limit ourselves because of our differences, this award gives us the chance to celebrate those differences.” For more information on this funding scheme, please see: https://adiarts.ie/artists/funding/connect/.
Cork Opera House CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson said: "We're delighted to be displaying Ciara's beautiful artwork for the people of Cork to enjoy. Her ability to articulate her story through her art is inspiring and the window display is sure to be a valuable conversation starter during Pain Awareness month. It has been our pleasure to work with Ciara to create a platform for engagement and look forward to a hosting her talk on Culture Night in September."
Culture Night Interview
Culture Night Artist’s talk and interview about large artwork at Cork Opera House
by Ciara Chapman
Cork Opera House will host an event with artist Ciara Chapman talking about her large mural artwork on the North Wall of Cork Opera House in aid of Pain Awareness Month. This project has been funded by the Arts Council’s Arts and Disability Connect Scheme which is managed by Arts & Disability Ireland.
Tickets: Free but tickets must be booked via Eventbrite.
Date & Time: Friday 23rd September 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Venue: Cork Opera House Emmett Place T12 DW6P Cork
Ciara Chapman is an award-winning artist. With an educational background in Fine Art Printmaking and Graphic Design, Ciara primarily focuses her practice on Digital Illustration and digital printmaking as well as mixed media pieces such as embroidered and origami artworks. She has won a number of awards, a Silver A'Design award in 2019, and an Iron A’Design Award in 2022 and a commendation from the Institute of Designers in Ireland (IDI) for her project My Chronic Pain Diary, also in 2019. Ciara was a finalist in the World Illustration Awards in 2020 and a finalist for the Graphic Illustration category in the London International Creative Competition also for this diary project. Ciara is a member of Cork Printmakers workshop and the Association of Illustrators. Commercially Ciara has worked with organisations such as Pfizer pharmaceuticals and Toyota Mobility. For more information see https://ciarachapmanillustration.com/
Ciara has also collaborated with Chronic Pain Ireland (CPI) on a number of campaigns including Pain Awareness Month. CPI is the national support group for people living with chronic pain.