Sad news

Signal is not just a building, a gallery space or a place for art classes, it is also a collection of creative people and it is those people who make Signal so very special.  As such it is with a deep sadness that I inform you all of the sudden loss of Jim Morrison.  Jim was the foundation stone of Signal Arts Centre since it’s creation and inception in 1990.

Everyone here at Signal is a bit shell shocked by the news, and the phone has been ringing (I am sitting on gallery duty today and am answering those calls) from Jim’s friends calling, and people walking in to the gallery who end up sharing stories.

James Nolan, our digital media go-to man was looking for images of Jim in our archives and managed to capture this lovely photo from a video of the culture night 2016, which really captures Jim, his humour, energy, and his love of Signal and the arts.


I have known Jim for about 20 years now through Signal Arts, and Bray Arts Club, and the nights I would bump into him at BIFE (we both taught night classes there) and as parents waiting outside Gaelscoil Uí Chéadaigh. I have only been working at Signal again since March (time flies!) and I felt that I was getting to know Jim again, reintroduced so to speak.

Jim was regularly here in Signal, mostly because of his duties as a board member but just as often just for the chat. He was picking my brains just a few weeks ago with regard to mould making, because he had carved a chess set that he was very proud of and he was thinking about reproducing it. We had a good long discussion over tea about the various options available and I was looking forward to seeing the chess set. I am now experiencing a strong sense of disbelief, as I fully expect Jim to walk through the gallery door at any moment.

He will be greatly missed by all friends of Signal Arts and all of the Signal Staff, both past and present. Our sincere and heartfelt condolences go out to the Morrison family.

Further information will be posted on the Signal Arts Facebook page as it becomes available, and you can find some information on the RIP deaths notices pages.

James Hayes

Developing Community Arts Practice – Training

For the past 5 weeks a group of us here at Signal have been doing training on Fridays. It is a course run by the Kildare Wicklow Enterprise Training Board (KWETB) entitled “Developing Community Arts Practice”. The course tutor is Aoife Patterson, a former Signal Arts Centre employee, and she really knows her stuff!

It has been a long time since I last undertook formal education. I am constantly up-skilling myself through reading, online courses, YouTube videos, and undertaking self-driven projects to learn new skills. This is a different kettle of fish altogether but I am enjoying it and learning lots of new concepts that are very relevant to my own practice.


Sitting through a lecture can get tiring, so Aoife breaks up the process with “ice breakers” and “energisers”. Ice breakers are usually at the start of the session, a simple exercise to get us thinking creatively and to begin interacting with one another.


A lot of the lectures also end with brain storming sessions where we are broken up into groups to discuss ideas and issues that were raised during the class, focusing on one specific topic such as creativity, or types of groups, etc.


As the lectures can be quite long, they are broken up with “energisers” which are small tasks that get us thinking creatively again, to get our energy levels up with a bit of insight or most often with a bit of a laugh!


That last one involved blowing ink around on a page using a straw, and then writing a Haiku poem (5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables) inspired by the ink or the action. Fun and got us thinking verbally as well as visually!

James Hayes