Unit 4 Garden Project

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Aoife Barrett is a visual artist and printmaker based in Galway, Ireland. She has a broad social practice that focuses on the power of community, public participation and arts and health.  Aoife graduated with an M.A. in Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking from the University of the West England in 2015 and went on to set up ‘Print Van Go’ a travelling print studio based in the West of Ireland.    She also holds a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Printmaking from Limerick School of Art and Design (2010) and a BA (Hons) Degree in Archaeology from the University College Cork (2006).  

She has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows throughout Ireland and internationally, including exhibitions in Lithuania, Croatia, UK, Germany, Slovenia, Greece and Hong Kong.  She has collaborated and worked with numerous community groups, health care settings, artists and arts organisations to deliver large-scale public print events and projects including Saolta Arts, Age & Opportunity, Cope Galway, ‘Art, Architecture and Activism’, Local Link Tipperary, The Laboratory of Common Interest and St. Mungo’s Homeless Charity.  


Recent Awards and Residencies

Create Artist in Community Research and Development Bursary Award (2020)

Creative Ireland Project Award (2020)

Artist Bursary Award, Tipperary County Council (2019)

Saolta Arts Inaugural Visual Artist in Residence (2019)

Age and Opportunity Artist in Residence in a Care Setting (2019)



Independent artist

Unit 4 Garden Project

Unit4 Garden Project; an outdoor print installation and collaborative project

Merlin Park Hospital, Galway

Funded by Saolta Arts

The Unit4 Garden Project is a collaborative project that took place in Merlin Park Hospital in Galway. The purpose of the project was to create a collaborative artwork with patients in Merlin Park Hospital that could be installed in the hospital unit’s newly created garden.  This collaborative process included a series of printmaking and design workshops where participants explored project themes, different methods of fabrication and ideas of what form the finished artwork could take.    Using the ideas gathered and discussed during these workshops it was decided to create a series of miniature ‘green houses’ that would be decorated with participants’ drawings and stories about their garden.  Working on paper, participants designed the format and structure of a series of houses as well as the patterns printed on their surfaces. The artist remade these from  laser cut  acrylic sheets which were screenprinted and laser etched with the participants’ designs and stories.  Some of the houses were then screenprinted with  hydrochromic ink so that the houses appear white in sunshine but when it rains the white ink turns transparent to reveal the colourful patterns and stories underneath.  The final piece was a reflection of  the ideas and creativity of each individual and what a garden meant to them:  a place to  sit and meditate or reflect; a space to celebrate colour and growth; an outdoor room; somewhere to embrace life all year around.