Symposium on art and creativity in Aboriginal communities to promote Healing Ways

healing_ways_header2The healing power of art made by Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander peoples is the subject of a Symposium at The Dax Centre on 19 and 20 September. This is a new exploration of the significance of Aboriginal art.

The symposium will address a range of urgent and relevant topics on Indigenous art including art as therapy, community art projects, the role of arts centres in healing and Australian Indigenous contemporary art practices. The inspiring two-day symposium titled Healing Ways: Art with Intent will be opened by Professor Ian Anderson, Foundation Chair of Indigenous Higher Education, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of Murrup Barak, University of Melbourne, and include three keynote addresses, 13 presentations, 25 speakers and an artists’ panel.

The full program is available on the website.

Keynote speakers include:

Judy Atkinson, Emeritus Professor, Southern Cross University and author of Trauma Trails on the use of creativity in addressing intergenerational trauma and violence in Aboriginal Communities.

A group of Ngangkari/artists from NPY Women’s Council will tell about their work as healers and artists, and the connections between Tjukurpa, culture, art and mental health.

Philip Watkins, CEO of Desart, the peak industry body for Central Australian Art Centres will present on the healing benefits of art centres.

Other confirmed speakers include Tracey-Lea Smith, Robert Austin and Lisa Waup telling the story of Baluk Arts, Mornington; artists from Papunya, Central Australia launching their short documentary on the Happy Sad Painting Project; Maree Clarke and Robyne Latham presenting on a Kopi Mourning Caps Workshop; Vicki Couzens and Lee Darroch presenting on The Banmirra Arts Possum Skin Cloak Healing Journey.
There will also be a panel featuring artist Bindi Cole and other artists that will explore contemporary Australian Indigenous art practice and its relationship to well-being.

The Symposium is the culmination of a two-year project by The Dax Centre on the subject. An exhibition, running concurrently with the symposium, highlights examples of Aboriginal artists and arts projects that explore the emotional world through art. The project, exhibition and symposium have been developed in consultation with community leaders, artists and project workers, along with an advisory group of Aboriginal stakeholders and industry professionals.

Date: 19 and 20 September, 2014
Venue: The Dax Centre, Kenneth Myer Building, University of Melbourne, Genetics Lane off Royal Parade, Parkville, Vic, 3010

Bookings and enquiries: