17th September 2019 - Wonder

Opening of Occupational Therapy student exhibition “Wonder” at the Jennings Gallery

Each year, the first year Occupational Therapy students have the experience of ‘doing’ creative activities in module OT1005 Creative Occupations and Health, designed and led by Dr. Eithne Hunt, with a designated theme for the students to explore, reflecting the philosophy and content of the year one curriculum. The theme for this year’s creative activity sessions and resulting exhibition was “Wonder”. The word wonder can mean two things: to experience amazement and to be curious. In their creative sessions, the students were encouraged to reflect on how they experience and cultivate both amazement and curiosity in their lives, aiming to create stronger connections between themselves and the world around them. A picture and words from Dr. Chistopher Willard, Psychologist and Educational Consultant and Faculty Member at Harvard Medical School, were used as a prompt for the students’ reflection and creation: “Look around you with the fresh eyes and mind of a child, even if it’s a place you know well. Keep looking until you discover something you hadn’t noticed before. What else might you not be seeing in your life?”

The exhibition was opened on Tuesday 17th September 2019 by Professor Fiona Kearney of the Glucksman Gallery, UCC. Professor Kearney noted how the students’ work “embraced a multitude of ideas and approaches to the theme of Wonder. From keen observations of natural phenomena, to joyful memories, wild voyages and colourful investigations” with each artist exploring our world “from a position of both curiosity and amazement”.

At the opening, Occupational Therapy student Emer Fenlon read the piece she wrote to accompany her textiles exhibit “One Small Step”, stating that “this piece represents the steps I have taken, the decisions I made that have brought me to UCC and my journey into occupational therapy”. Chloe Racine shared her piece on her exhibit “Our Hands; Structured to Heal” reflecting that “in regard to our education thus far, there is one particular thing that I am in awe of, something I think of with the wonder of a child. As part of our study of anatomy in semester one, we learnt about the intricate components of our hands. This includes everything from bones, muscles and tendons to blood vessels and nerves. It is because of this ingenious engineering that we can hold, touch, feel, and most importantly, create. Everything that we do, we do with the miracle of our hands. I included a quote in my piece that resonated with me; “You have two hands, one to help yourself and one to help others”. I find the fact that as future therapists we will use our hands to help and to heal to be inspiring. The power of our hands and the good we can do with them is what truly amazes me”.

Dr. Willard sent a message to the students for their exhibition opening, wishing them “a very successful fun-filled career as you begin this meaningful journey of helping others. My wish for you is to find balance in this work, bringing mindfulness and compassion to all you do.”

The Jennings Gallery

Áiléar Jennings

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