GMIT launches alcohol awareness campaign with artist Sabrina Fallon
Installation "Dying to Live" will be on show in GMIT from 25 to 29 Sept
An alcohol awareness campaign, centered around a thought-provoking installation by local artist Sabrina Fallon, will be promoted to over 2,150 new GMIT students this semester as part of the GMIT Student Services “#First5weeks” Welcome Programme.
The aim of the campaign by the GMIT Student Services team is to get students thinking about their alcohol intake as they begin the college year. As part of the campaign Sabrina Fallon, a native of Portumna who graduated from GMIT with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Design in Textiles in 2016, will showcase her work called “Dying to Live”.
The installation started out as a final year project and explores alcoholism in Ireland using cloth to evoke awareness and empathy. While documenting the emotional, mental and vulnerable journey of sufferers caught up in the web of addiction, ‘Two Thousand Stitches’ a large powerful insulation, was created by knitting 2000 stitches with hospital sheets using crutches to knit with as a metaphor, each stitch to represent the 2000 accident and emergency hospital beds that are used each night in Ireland to treat patients with alcohol related issues. This moving piece of art can be viewed in the Café Foyer, GMIT, Dublin Road from Monday 25 to Friday 29 September.
Sabrina Fallon describes the installation: “Lost was created to highlight the vulnerability of the alcoholic that goes amiss due to general lack of awareness of this complex disease. The foetal form represents this vulnerability and pain, the written testimonies on hospital sheets are words from the heart of the alcoholic,” explains Sabina. Patsy’s Dress gives material expression to the problem of maternal alcoholism and the tragedy of potential foetal alcohol syndrome. In the accompanying audio work, Patsy speaks candidly about her experience of this disease and the first hand effects it has had on her family. 11, comprises of eleven small dresses constructed from hospital sheets, gowns and, text, these dresses represent the one in eleven children who are effected by the disease of alcoholism in Ireland today.
GMIT Student Services have also arranged for the Western Region Drugs and Alcohol Task Force to be on campus to answer queries and to encourage students to complete the drinks meter, an online app that provides the individual with instant anonymous, confidential feedback on their drinking habits.
Student Affairs Manager Debbie Molloy says “College is a new chapter for students with many leaving home for the first time. It is important that students find the balance early on in college life, healthy eating, managing time and getting the balance right between course work, part-time work and socialising makes all the difference to the college experience. Prevention is a key principle in The Galway City Strategy to Prevent and Reduce Alcohol related harm and so our message in this campaign is to be aware of your lifestyle habits and make changes early on if necessary”.
Other events that are taking place during this "Mind Yourself” week include healthy eating demos, recipes and free healthy juices by Yvonne Shaughnessy – The Raw Food Coach. The students’ Union are offering free exercise classes for all and there will be stands promoting Clubs & Societies, meditation, how to quit smoking and much more. The WRDAFT team will also be promoting the new Safety App soon to be launched in Galway.
GMIT Student Counselling Service provides support to students with alcohol related concerns.