Illuminated artworks exhibition opens at National Botanic Gardens

Illuminated Artworks Exhibition Opens At National Botanic Gardens
First Fortnight Mental Health Art and Culture Festival 2024, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By David Young, PA

An array of illuminated artworks has been unveiled at the National Botanic Gardens to mark the start of a fortnight of events aimed at tackling the stigma around mental health.

The Silva Lumina – Lights of Growth has been created by Co Mayo based artist Tom Meskell with the help of 50 people from the community.


The after-dark experience was commissioned by the First Fortnight Mental Health Art and Culture Festival, which is now in its 13th year.

The festival opened on Friday and will feature stage performances, exhibitions, gigs, poetry, panel discussions, interviews and films.

First Fortnight Mental Health Art and Culture Festival 2024
Tom Meskell, community engagement artist, with his exhibition Silva Lumina Lights Of Growth (Brian Lawless/PA)


The festival’s chief executive Maria Fleming said the programme was a “warm, inclusive, informative and immersive cultural kick start to the new year”.

“Stigma only adds to the distress of those experiencing mental ill health and harms their friends and families,” she added.

“Research has found that art can improve mental health, slow cognitive decline, build self-esteem, and enhance one’s quality of life.

“Art can impart insight, decrease stress, heal trauma, increase memory and neurosensory capacities, and improve interpersonal relationships. We want to break the stigma and we are doing this through art and cultural action.”


First Fortnight Mental Health Art and Culture Festival 2024
The exhibition is aimed at improving mental health (Brian Lawless/PA)

The Silva Lumina has been presented in partnership with the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin and the Office of Public Works.

It is free to visit but pre-booking is essential.


For more information visit


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