Health Minister Michael McGimpsey vowed today that carers will not be overlooked and their importance to society will be reflected in his priorities.

Speaking after an Assembly debate on carers, he said that he would continue to review services which were in place to ensure that people had access to timely and responsive help and support.

He said: “I share the view of Assembly members that not enough is currently being done to ensure that carers are aware of their statutory rights. In Northern Ireland there are currently around 185,000 carers, many looking after a frail, ill or disabled child or elderly relative without payment and little respite.

“All carers are individuals with their own needs, caring for people with a huge range of requirements and abilities in what can be very complex and emotionally charged relationships. This not a one solution fits all – carers deserve real choices based on their individual circumstances.

“I want to ensure that the contribution of carers is fully recognised. They are the unsung heroes and without their input the vulnerable people in our society who want to live independent lives will suffer.”

Turning to what is being done for carers, the Minister said a strategy was published in 2006 which had already produced many positive developments.

“As part of the strategy, recurrent funding of £400,000 was allocated and is being used by health and social care bodies to develop innovative and responsive support services. Carers not only need long-term respite care but should have the opportunity to go the shops on a Saturday or take part in a hobby or activity.”

Further work to support carers includes new legislation in March 2003 which gave carers for the first time a statutory right to an assessment of their own needs.

The Minister said: “I believe we can still do more to raise the profile of carers’ assessments and in doing so provide a route for carers to access the support they need. My Department has carried out an inspection of social care support services for carers of older people.

“The findings of this report will be published shortly but is likely to make further recommendations about the consistency of carers’ assessments and services across Northern Ireland.”


Strule Arts Centre will welcome an action art exchange of Romanian and N. Ireland artists for a three-day residency from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30 th June, full of exciting talks, workshops and performances.

All of the events, organised by ARÉS, are free to attend and the events on offer will involve a diversity of approaches to performance. The artists will explore poetry, action art, sound, linguistics, time-based and body art.

The ARES residency was established by ÜTO Gusztáv, who hosted the event annually at the ETNA Foundation in the town of Saint George, located in the Transylvania region of Romania. This year ÜTO Gusztáv has collaborated with Belfast-based performance artist Sinéad O’Donnell to host ARÉS in Northern Ireland.

The project aims to develop performance art, action art and alternative art for artists based in Romania and Northern Ireland.

During the residency, the artists will be performing and ‘making art’ both in Strule Arts Centre and around Omagh Town Centre. So if you see artists at work, stop, look and join in the workshops, all of which are free.

For further details, or to book your free place at the series of workshops, talks and performances taking place Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th June, contact Strule Box Office 028 8224 7831.


Nemere Kerezsi
Born in 1979, KEREZSI is one of Romania’s leading emerging artists. Receiving a scholarship in 2006 from ‘OKM’ his work has also been invited by the ‘Academy of Fine Arts’, Maastricht (2003), and he has been supported by the ‘Ferencváros Municipal Council (2004). KEREZSI’s art works are a combination of performance, photography and conceptual art; he is currently an assistant lecturer at the University of Arts in Budapest – Hungary.

Levente Kosma
Born in 1978, Tîrgu Secuiesc / Kézdivásárhely. KOZMA is one of Romania’s leading young art curators. As an emerging artist and organizer he is considered one of the foremost Romanian practitioners promoting and supporting manifestations in contemporary art and culture. Graduating from the Institute of Fine Art, Timisoara / Temesvár, he received a scholarship to attend the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts, Budapest – 2001. He is the founder and director of ‘Simultan Organization’ an experimental video / sound Festival based in Timisoara / Temesvár. He has participated in a variety of projects that have involved publications and co-organizing exhibitions ‘Night Shots Series’, ‘StudentFest’ and ‘The Last Minute’ in Timisoara / Temesvár

Ileana Pintilie Teleaga
is one of Romania’s most successfully established art educators. She is a curator of action arts events and writer of Eastern European performance art history. Her publications and organizational activities in the arts in Romania have challenged how we think about the position of Romania in the world of art to day. Her incredible style of critic has highlighted the promotion of the value of published and archival documents, including ‘Action art during the communist regime’ and the Triennial ‘Zona’ Performance Art Festival. PINTILIE is an associate Professor of the Faculty of Arts, West University, Timisoara / Temesvár. In 2003, she completed her PhD in Visual Arts at the National University of Arts, Bucharest. She is the main curator of the Art Department and Museum of Timisoara / Temesvár, Visiting Professor to the Kunsthogskolen, Bergen, Norway, and a member of the IKT International Association of Contemporary Art Curators and currently a co-editor of ArtMargins, Los Angeles Based Art Magazine.

Krisztina Szabó
Born in 1977, Tîrgu Secuiesc / Kézdivásárhely, SZABÓ graduated in 2002 from the ‘Ioan Andreescu’ Visual Arts University, Cluj-Napoca / Kolozsvár. Her works are descriptive of her gender and position in the world to day. She is the founder of a weekly art house – film screening in Tîrgu Secuiesc / Kézdivásárhely and the instigator of local artist in the community projects.

Attila Toró
Born in 1969, Baraolt / Barót, TORÓ has been an active artist for almost 20 years. His works includes live performance, installation, video, photography, and digital new media. His work composes an aesthetic that tests his own physical limitations with a moving sensitivity and awareness that communicates creative dialogue between artist and audience. TORO’s contribution to the arts at home and abroad demonstrates a commitment to the future development of cultural integration and interdisciplinary approach to art. He has presented his works in cultural contexts in Romania, Hungary, Poland and Canada. He founded in Sfîntu Gheorghe / Sepsiszentgyörgy the ‘képVIDÉK’ Photo Art Group which amplified the need for artist opportunities and resources in rural areas in Romania. He is also the owner of the ‘Digital Art Studio’ since 1998.

Gusztáv Üto
Lives and works in Sfîntu Gheorghe / Sepsiszentgyörgy. He is one of Eastern Europe’s leading performance art figures. ÜTO works as an artist, archivist, educator and organizer. During the 1990′s he organized the largest out-door performance art festival ‘AnnART’ held at the extinct volcanic lake ‘ Saint Ann ‘. He founded currently runs ETNA Foundation in 1995 housing one of the world’s most insightful Performance Art Archives. ÜTO hosts ‘Eruptio’ an annual Inter-regional Action Art Meeting and is the founder of ARES-Inter-regional Artist in Residence Program. He has presented action art works at world performance centers in Canada, Serbia, Northern Ireland, Germany, Mexico, Québec, Japan, Finland, Taiwan, USA, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, England, Bielorussia, Lithuania, Switzerland and Romania. He was presented in March 2007 by the ‘Trace’ Gallery at the ‘CAT’ Show, Cardiff – Wales.

Kinga Üto
Born in 1978 in Sfîntu Gheorghe / Sepsiszentgyörgy, ÜTO Kinga is an emerging female artist studying an MA in textiles and fashion. She established her own local fashion enterprise in 2003. Since 2003 she participated in the ETNA Foundation Visual Art teaching programmes. It was this experience that influenced her work to take a new direction, incorporating her knowledge of design, fabric and traditional craft with the act of visual arts, performances or action arts to demonstrate her position or origins of identity as a post-modern Transylvanian woman.

Domokos Vánca
Born in 1978 Sfîntu Gheorghe / Sepsiszentgyörgy. VÁNCSA graduated with a degree in design. His art works incorporate sound, video, installation and performance. He has exhibited / performed in various contexts, including ‘AnnART’, ‘DesignMai’, Berlin – International Design Festival, ‘Art’s Birthday’ and ‘EXSITE’, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Barnabás Vetró
Born in Cluj-Napoca / Kolozsvár, Romania, VETRÓ has made inter-disciplinary art works that have been exhibited at national and international events in Romania, Hungary, Canada and Poland. His approaches to art practice methodologies are meditative, symbolic and minimalist that explores the body as a vessel of sensation, experience and knowledge. VETRÓ is an emerging young artist that continuously seeks to build collaborative cultural exchanges some of which have occurred through the crated events in Romania – ‘udvARTér3′, ‘Night Shots Series’ and ‘Next’. His work identifies and intersects new avenues in art, history and its influence in contemporary life in Romania.


Sinead O’Donnell
O’Donnell works in art organizing, visual performance and time-based art, incorporating drawing, photography, text and collage as a means of research. These methods also act a tool that can document and describe an artwork that has happened in a different cultural context or that has gone through many levels of decision-making. Most recently she has made work with ‘Le Lieu Centre en Art Actuel’, Quebec -’Bbeyond’ Exchanging Places, Belfast – 18th Street Gallery with PowderKeg Contemporary Performance Group, Los Angles, America and SOS Festival, Argentina. Her practice investigates the relationships between material identity and action. She also works collaboratively with Hugh O’Donnell. Sinead O’Donnell – CAT show – Cardiff – Photo – Tim Freeman – 07.

Justin McKeown
McKeown’s primary concern is the relationship between art and politics. He is the founder of the SPART Action group. He is currently completing his PhD at the University of Ulster and is an associate lecturer at Dartington College of Arts. Recent exhibitions and presentations include: Cardiff Art in Time 2007, Rencounter Internationale D’Art Performance de Quebec 2006 (Canada), Currency Festival 2006 New York (USA), Alytus Biennial of experimental Art 2006 (Lithuania), Toronto Free Gallery (Canada), Desire in Ruins Neoismus Festival 2006 Berlin (Germany), Urban Festival Zagreb (Croatia) and a Solo show in the Ludwig Museum Budapest (Hungary). For more information please visit:

Hugh O’Donnell
O’Donnell has presented work at International events as well as contributing to the arts locally in N. Ireland. His actions boldly deal with gender and sexuality, interpreted by sound, gold high heels, Dusty Springfield, running around in circles, and blowing his trusty football match whistle. O’Donnell’s work is represented this year at I.M.A.F, Serbia and Bone, Switzerland.

Brian Patterson
Patterson’s work processes combines making performance and art organising. His most recent work has been represented at ‘Interakaje’ in Piotrykow Trybunalski, Poland. He is currently a co-founder and director of Bbeyond, Performance Art Organisation, N. Ireland.

Aideen Barry
Barry’s current work deals with the notion of the ‘Uncanny’, and a preoccupation with the theme of distortion. Previous works have dealt with the themes of the inability to convey emotion, the extension of the form, restriction of movement and containment of space. She is the current west of Ireland representative for ‘ The Visual Arts Ireland ‘and a co-director of the ‘G126′ space located in Galway, Ireland.

Elina Hartzell
Hartzell has presented live work at Le Lieu – Quebec, Etna Foundation – Romania, Catalyst Arts – Belfast. Her work involves multimedia approaches to performance and the body. She is currently a committee member of Bbeyond, Performance Art Organization, N. Ireland. She co-organizes a local monthly action meeting ‘EX-SITE’, with Sinead O’Donnell. Elina Hartzell – Museum of Revolution – Timisoara – Romania – Image – Sinead O’Donnell – 06.

Sinead Bhreathnach Cashell

Bhreathnach – Cashell is a recent graduate of University of Ulster. Her work is site – specific in social meeting places. She recently presented work at the ‘CAT’ Show, Cardiff, Wales.

Alastair MacLennan
MacLennan is Belfast based; he is a co-founder of Belfast art & research exchange and Bbeyond, Performance Art Organization, N. Ireland. He is N.Ireland’s leading performance artist, currently a professor of fine art at the University of Ulster, Belfast. His work has been included in national and international events and groups including the Venice Biennale and BlackMarket International. His art deals with political, social and cultural issues.


June 2007
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