Self-taught artist’s work goes on display at UHG

Galway Daily news self-taught artist's work goes on display at UHG

Local woman Catherine Cooley, who taught herself to paint to help her recovery from mental illness, is having her work displayed at UHG this month.

Inspired by the works of Van Gogh and Yeats, Cooley’s work is noted for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold colours.

When she paints, Cooley draws from the cityscape of Galway, the landscape of its surrounding areas and the rural farming scenes of her childhood memories.

Learning to paint, or teaching herself rather, “has helped me on the road to recovery from mental illness, giving me something to focus on when things were difficult,” Cooley notes.

At Céim Eile Day Centre Cooley has found others to support her in her recovery and her art, making friends with exceptional people who share their life experiences and their thoughts on each others’ creations.

Before this Cooley has had small solo exhibitions and taken part in group exhibitions at the Céim Eile Day Centre.

Now her ‘Colour of My Life’ collection is going on display at UHG where it will be managed by the Galway University Hospitals Arts Trusts.

The Arts Trusts integrates art and creation into the healthcare process in the belief that access to art promotes positive health.

Catherine clearly agrees with this ethos as she says that embracing art has increased her self-esteem, confidence and created success for her in life, adding that “without art and the encouragement to continue with it,” her mental well being wouldn’t be where it is.

The trust works to increase access to art and encourages people to try their hand, thus enriching the hospital community and everyone that comes through those halls.

The message is that art art can have a positive and transformative impact on people’s lives at a time when they need something to focus on.

Catherine Cooley’s ‘Colours of My Life’ will be on display at UHG until August 31, and many of the pieces seen there are available for purchase.

Enquiries to Margaret Flannery, Arts Director, Galway University Hospital Arts Trust, 091 544979 or