29 Jan 2008 - KCAT Kilkenny Collective for Art Talent

Press Release - Jennings Gallery Opens

29 Jan 2008

Press Release - Jennings Gallery Opens

The College of Medicine and Health is delighted to welcome Dr Garret FitzGerald, Chancellor of the NUI and former Taoiseach, to launch the Jennings Gallery on Tuesday 29th January 2008. This is a new gallery space in UCC located on the middle floor of the old Brookfield House, now the centre of a large educational complex housing over 1000 students and staff every day. The concept of the Jennings Gallery is to encourage a wider appreciation of, and involvement in, the visual arts in UCC by demonstrating how valuable and expressive visual creativity can emerge from a wide range of human experience shaped by different personal, social and cultural circumstances.


It aims to:


1.       provide a focus for the visual arts at the western end of the UCC campus for staff, students and   members of the public;


2.       contribute to creative personal growth by encouraging visual creativity and appreciation among staff and students of UCC;


3.       encourage students to see visual creativity as something that crosses all social and health divides, that is accessible to all and that can be affirming of human health and wholeness; and


4.       mount a diverse range of exhibitions, from individuals or groups, by invitation from the organising committee, which bear on the work and mission of theCollege ofMedicine and Health in providing education and research into human health.



The gallery will be run and managed within the university’s policy framework for the visual arts. It has been named after the Jennings family who built Brookfield House in 1898. Thomas Jennings was a noted athlete and was captain of the University Athletic Club while at Cambridge. He had strong views about house building, with an almost obsessive concern about fire. He may have had a bad experience when he was living in London and, of course, the disastrous fire in the College in 1862 was still remembered. Hence the less than beautiful yellow firebrick, specially imported, the steel panelled fire doors and the 5000 gallon lead water tanks in the attic. The house forms the centre of Brookfield Health Science Complex and provides a link between the schools of medicine, clinical therapies and nursing. The Gallery has been created by converting old fuel stores and cladding the doors of heavy storage presses. The logo was suggested by a pattern on the ceiling in the entrance hall. UCC is most grateful to the Buckley Foundation for supporting this conversion.



Working as a health professional can be a stressful occupation. It is important that they develop their personalities and potential to the fullest extent so that they have “another life” outside the hospital or clinic where they can relax and renew themselves. The visual arts can play an important part for many by encouraging their own creativity and helping them appreciate the creative capacities of others. This gallery will encourage students to take an interest in visual art and from time to time will display their work. It will also display the work of artists that relates to the themes of human health and explores aspects of the human condition.



The opening exhibition is a glorious display of the work of the Kilkenny Collective for Art Talent or KCAT, based in a converted mill in Callen, Co Kilkenny. KCAT grew out of the Camphill Community which began inIreland in 1972. It owes its inspiration to George McCutcheon, a Camphill resident, for whom creating art is both a compulsion and a passion. KCAT is now home to 13 artists and has exhibited inIreland and abroad, most recently inSweden andAustralia. KCAT has grown to an arts and study centre running courses in the visual and performing arts. IN 2006, they collaborated with MACNAS to produce “The Big River Parade” for the Galway Arts Festival and the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Some 50 works will be on display in Brookfield, the majority of which will be available for purchase.





The Jennings Gallery

Áiléar Jennings

College of Medicine and Health, Brookfield Health and Science Complex, College Rd, UCC