Saffron Gardens Care Home

Eamon O'Kane. Works at Saffron Gardens. Photo: Max McClure courtesy of Willis Newson.


Eamon O’Kane’s interactive commission, 'Creative Toolboxes' was developed for Brunelcare’s new Saffron Gardens care home and completed in January 2013. O’Kane created four purpose-built mobile wooden cabinets, one for each residential unit. In addition to a series of abstract and figurative objects, the cabinets also contain audio playing equipment.


These artworks are intended to enable residents, visitors and staff to sit and work with these thoughtfully-constructed colourful objects, whose creation references ideas of nature, design and play – whilst listening to the additional stimulus of sound, which can be tailored to the individual requirements of a resident, group of residents or specific occasion.

The cabinets are designed to be simple, versatile, portable and familiar and to trigger conversations, physical activity, memory and imagination.  The objects within them relate in a very direct and uncomplicated way to many subjects, including science, storytelling, mathematics, geometry, mineralogy, nature, architecture, design, and childhood.

Eamon O'Kane

Eamon O'Kane has exhibited widely and is the recipient of many awards and scholarships including the Taylor Art Award, The Tony O'Malley Award and a Fulbright Award. He has shown in exhibitions curated by Dan Cameron, Lynne Cooke, Klaus Ottman, Salah M. Hassan, Jeremy Millar, Mike Fitzpatrick, Sarah Pierce, Jeanne Greenberg-Rohatyn, Angelika Nollert, Yilmaz Dziewior and Apinan Poshyananda. He has taken part in EV+A, Limerick, Ireland seven times including 2005 when he received an EV+A open award from Dan Cameron. In 2006 he was short-listed for the AIB Prize and received a Pollock Krasner foundation grant. O'Kane has had over forty solo exhibitions including shows in Berlin, Frankfurt, Dublin, Zurich, New York, London and Copenhagen. He was short-listed for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in London in 2007. His artwork is in numerous public and private collections worldwide including Deutsche Bank; Burda Museum, Baden Baden, Germany; Sammlung Südhausbau, Munich; Limerick City Gallery; FORTIS; DUBLIN 98FM Radio Station; Microsoft; Bank of Ireland Collection; Irish Contemporary Arts Society; Country Bank, New York; Office of Public Works; P.M.P.A. and Guardian Insurance; Donegal County Library; UNIBANK, Denmark; NKT Denmark; HK, Denmark; Den Danske Bank, Denmark; Sammlung Strack, Cologne, Germany; Letterkenny Institute of Technology; University Of Ulster, Belfast; Sammlung Winzer, Coburg, Germany; British American Tobacco, Bayreuth, Germany; Aspen RE, London; Rugby Art Gallery and Museum Collection. Eamon completed a three month residency at Centre Culturel Irlandais in Paris in 2008. O'Kane is Professor of Visual Art at Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway

Willis Newson

Willis Newson is a leading Bristol-based independent arts consultancy specialising in creative approaches to improving health and wellbeing.  It develops public art strategies for new builds and refurbishments, develops and manages public art plans and public engagement programmes, delivers training for artists and performers in healthcare settings and provides advice and guidance on the design and implementation of projects to promote healthy environments and improve health and wellbeing.

The Downs consists of Clifton Down and Durdham Down - two large, historic, adjacent grassed green spaces of about 400 acres. Although on the edge of the city, The Downs feels like open countryside, with their wide views of the Avon Gorge, Leigh Woods, North Somerset, the Severn Estuary and across to South Wales. The Downs are one of Bristol's most historic and popular open spaces, used for sport, events and healthy exercise.
  • Commissioner


  • Produced by

    Willis Newson

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