‘I brought the dream of flying’ –  A word of thanks

I would like to thank the international ME community groups as well as the many individuals living with ME for their support via messages and shared social media links to the exhibition I had.

‘I brought the dream of flying’. Exhibition Corina Duyn with co-artist Caroline Schofield 14-1-23/11-2-23 at GOMA gallery of modern art Waterford. Supported by Waterford Healing Arts (WHAT) and Creative Ireland-Waterford.

These are the words I had scribbled (and recorded) in the morning of the official launch.

It was doubtful I would make it in person, but so glad I did. There were over 70 people there. My words were read out for me as I failed after the first sentence. See/hear

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kY__5gQ3cjQ  (19 minutes)

Short video of the exhibition visit: https://youtu.be/sBFMabTxprI  (6 minutes)

“I decided to record my few words as I most likely will be too shook to speak. This event is enormous in all its way, and utterly wonderful.

Of course the first thing to say is thank you. I can’t list anyone in particular as there are simply too many to thank. It isn’t just the amazing art team who made this exhibition possible, and created this astonishing display, and all of you for being here, but it’s also the support I receive from all those online and in person. Friends, family, staff, ME and disability communities, supporters of my work and story. A message from Australia, Chile, or anywhere around the globe is almost equal to day to day and creative support. So to avoid missing anyone, a global thank you. Without you all I wouldn’t be here today. My deepest gratitude for this unrelenting believe in me my story my work, as is evident here today.

This exhibition is a result of not wanting to create any art about my new life in care and that I had firmly resigned as advocate for other people with ME and disabilities. As you can see all round you, I failed spectacularly at both.

The collaborative process with Caroline became a way to re-use the puppets, clay and paper, I had brought with me to the Treehouse. The marionette puppets now representing the room and collaborative process. Miracle Miracle giving up her advocacy role and needed to rest. Each newly created piece helped me to tell my story. But also through them I understood my story. Now they and all the other recycled art pieces are here, ready for their new lives. So am I. Letting go is always a new beginning.

Last night at the edge of sleep I thought about the one hope I have is that with this exhibition, that the worldwide ME community will be heard, and no longer told that our illness is a ‘lifestyle ’choice; that by simply thinking you can do something, you are recovered. The losses are too great in my creative and day to day living. Perhaps it is my stubbornness and ability to always find a new way to create and thus understand my life became my accidental survival technique. And now, all of that is here in a visual way. Thanks to many.”

Footnote March 2023

It turned out to be an extraordinary event, with support from so many people as well as the media. Further links on my website ,

Much of the exhibition including the Puppet Room which is a scaled down version of my nursing home room where the creative collaboration took place, as well as the ‘Invisible Octopus’ life with ME series of prints; the textile drawing ‘In Shadows’ of me by Caroline Schofield and ‘Miracle Miracle’ on her flying carpet were selected to be included in creative program of Creative Brain Week 2023 in Dublin 6-11 March https://creativebrainweek.com/event/creative-programme-2/  “An international online and in person events which explored and celebrated how brain science and creativity collide to seed new ideas in social development, technology, entrepreneurship, wellbeing and physical, mental and brain health across the life cycle. This annual pioneering event illustrates innovation at the intersection of arts and brain science, including creative approaches to health.”

A huge honour for all of us to have our work and story shared with this international audience of researchers, scientist, artist, and speakers like Christopher Bailey, Head Lead of Arts and Health at W.H.O.

There was an artist talk with curator Dominic Campbell at the gallery but I was too ill to attend even via Zoom. My co-artist Caroline and Maeve from WHAT were there. Although my ability to speak was severely impaired I had made a short voice recording which was played at the talk. Also the ‘Invisible Octopus’ video poem was played to a very engaging audience. So I was there, and ME was very much there.

As icing on the cake to all this exhibition experience Christopher Bailey, Head Lead of Arts and Health at W.H.O. also visited me in my nursing home room. wow.

My health suffered. Badly. From the start. And I am trying hard to get the balance right between all the amazing things which happened creatively and the mental and physical impact on my health, as well as the contrast between the support for my creativity verses the challenges of support in my real life in a nursing home.

One day I will understand and give it all a place in my mind and head.

Corina Duyn

Read more here about “The Dream of Flying”

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