Life Story by Garry McGovern

‘Life Story‘ is a short film about heart and lung transplant recipients. It was made by Orfan Productions and premiered at our recent Ladies Who Lunch in the D4 Berkeley hotel. Read more about Garry’s film and all our upcoming projects on the Events page

“They could be your Mother or Father, your Brother or Sister, your Husband or Wife. Six ordinary people who owe their lives to an organ donor, talk openly about their experiences, how their lives have been changed and how they’ll never forget their living gift”. Garry McGovern

Life Story from Garry McGovern on Vimeo.

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Facts about transplants in Ireland


A proud record despite recent decline in organ donations

Ireland has one of the highest rates of organ donation per capita in the world. Hopefully, the decline in donations in 2010 is not a trend, and that 2011 will continue to see a rise in organ donation and transplantation, as has been evident in the first months of this year.

To view the yearly transplant statistics please go to our FAQ’s page to read the full article,
kindly supplied by Strange Boat Donor Foundation

If you wish to become an organ donor after your death
you should inform your next-of-kin of your intentions.

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Celebrating Ladies who Lunch day at the D4 Berkeley Hotel

Ladies who Lunch with Special Guest Celia Holmen Lee

The buzz around the D4 Berkeley Hotel on Saturday 14th May 2011 was electric.
The reason was it was ‘Ladies Who Lunch Day’ the style was crushing as you
can see on our gallery page.

To find out more about the day and the people who sponsored us please go to
our Ladies who Lunch page.

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Our film at IMOCA

IRL show at IMOCA from 15th July until 30th July 2011

Our collaborative film which was made as part of the project is to be shown at the Irish Museum of Contemporary Art, Dublin this week. The show runs for a couple of weeks so if you’re in the vicinity be sure to drop in.

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Ladies Lunch at D4 Berkeley Court Hotel

Living Gift Transplant Support Group are inviting you to our Ladies Who Lunch Day, which will be held on Saturday 14th May 2011 in D4 Berkeley Hotel

Our special guest is the renowned stylist and television personality
Celia Holman Lee

She will be giving a “Style Talk” covering lots of tips and revealing her fabulous style secrets including how to dress for different body types. Entertainment on the day also includes a live performance by Sean Dunphy.

With tickets costing just €50, this event is not to be missed and includes a 3 course lunch and spot prizes on the day. The places are limited so book now to avoid disappointment.

You can find out more information on our Ladies who Lunch page or you can contact Margaret McCann on 01 2856809 or email her at margaret@livinggift.ie

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Liminality installation shot. Photo by Susan Walsh

Liminality installation shot 2. Photo by Susan Walsh

Volunteer agreeing to a Time Donation. Photo by Susan Walsh.

Liminality installation shot 3. Photo by Susan Walsh

The change over for a time donation by a volunteer. Photo by Susan Walsh

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Responses to the project

Liminality installation shot by Susan Walsh

Eimear Walshe (2nd year sculpture student at NCAD) and Sinead Sweeney today intervened in the discursive area of the project. I invited them to respond in some shape or form to the projects subject matter. Their responses were startling:

Eimear started the ball rolling with ‘Homesickness’ (2011) a mixed media installation.

'Homesickness' (2011), Eimear Walshe, mixed media installation: plinths, Mac book pros

This work understands transplant, in terms of uprooting and migration, the removal of a living thing from its environment and implanting it into another living, moving environment. Not fully belonging to one or the other, it is positioned with one foot on either side of a wall. The video attempts to transmit this through the position of its subject, being in both places, at home and in the gallery, but also being in neither place, the internet. It demonstrates Limonality in a play between aura and engagement, being on the cusp of communication, nearly but never fully letting itself go.

Later in the afternoon Sinead performed the haunting ‘Killing Time’ which she described as :

My piece is a performance,where I am reciting my inner thoughts while being in hospital.Although Patients may be lying still in hospital beds,their minds are always working,always wandering to different places.There is a distance,a stiffness,between patients and visitors when in hospital,as patients enter into a deeper inner place of thought and reflection.While reciting,I will be moving through the chairs but only time will tell if I will make it to the 15th chair,to top of the waiting list before my time is up,but I am hopeful,holding out for hope and if no hope,no fear,i hope.

Both were a fantastic response to the projects subject matter, no easy thing to do at short notice. Tomorrow between 2pm and 3pm Jennifer Flannagan (2nd year sculpture, NCAD) will install ‘State’ (2011) a site specific video piece. Jennifer says :

State’ considers the issue of state of mind versus the sate of body. As a space of uncertainty and discomfort the mind confines the body and the state of health which is aided through the donation of the organ, creating an uncomfortable membrane . This internal conflict is considered through the medium of latex in a video piece. Within a latex cylinder, the subject acknowledges this boundary however slowly becomes irritated by it’s presence and slowly begins to overcome it through its destruction.

‘State’ (2011), Jenniger Flanagan, video still.

Do come along if you’re in the vicinity.

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Screenings yesterday

Transplant (2007) by John Wynne and Tim Wainwright was screened yesterday afternoon. This was followed by I used to say it was gold, but really it’s a platinum one, Platinum (2011) by the Living Gift Transplant Support Group and Ciara McMahon.

It was remarkably weird to be in the space, in a hospital bed while these film shorts were being screened. All that was visible from my side were shadows and vaguely surreal moving colours. The effect was one of over hearing a conversation, an account which I tried simultaneously to listen and avoid. Meanwhile, people outside continued to stare, occasionally banging vigorously on the window to try and catch my already wandering attention. Welcome to the twilight zone.

The endless (and it does seem endless) time is starting to drag. You’ve no idea the relief when someone kindly agrees to take my place, even if it’s only 15min. It feels like heaven to get up and walk away without a second glance. Sheer unadulterated heaven.

My replacement. Photo Tim Hunter

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Screenings tomorrow at 3.30pm NCAD Gallery

Tomorrow we will be screening 2 film shorts at 3.30pm in the NCAD Gallery.

Transplant (2008), 35min by Tim Wainwright and John Wynne. The Transplant project began with a year-long residency at Harefield Hospital, one of the world’s leading centres for heart and lung transplants. Working closely with photographer Tim Wainwright, I recorded patients, the devices they were attached to or had implanted in them, and the hospital itself. “In various ways, heart and lung transplants blur the easy distinctions between life and death, between being alive and not. The transplant unit at Harefield is a place where all these issues cross, where dying and living has a different and more elastic meaning than in the world outside.’ Charles Darwent (Art critic, Independent on Sunday).

I used to say it was gold, but really it’s a platinum one, Platinum (2011) 21min, by The Living Gift Transplant Support Group and Ciara McMahon. This film resulted from a 9month collaboration between the Living Gift members and Ciara McMahon. It discusses life after transplantation.

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‘… the truth of the subject is its estrangement and its excessiveness

Seminar participants

At the seminar this morning Tina Kinsella presented some research on Bracha Ettinger’s art practice, philosophical and psychoanalytical position. Using these as a compliment to a reading of Jean Luke Nancy’s personal account of his heart transplant. Evesdropping from the bed on the other side of the dividing curtain was a strange halfway place for me. I could hear the discussion but not see the images under discussion, the body language and eye contact of the participants. It felt as if I was present, but not … a frustrating, liminal place to be.

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