Arts and health

Arts and health in Hobart

See our Arts and Health Co-ordinator, Kelly Drummond Cawthon, introducing the Conference Arts and Health Program. The 15th Conference program will highlight local Tasmanian performers and artists during plenary sessions, concurrent sessions, and foyer installations. The program promises to deliver an exciting glimpse of the creativity alive in the Hobart arts community with their focus on arts and health practitioners working better together to improve wellbeing and health in rural and remote Australia.
Josh Arnold

Better together! Song writing and singing workshops with Josh Arnold

Delegates will have the opportunity to join song writer and music video producer Josh Arnold from Small Town Culture in this special song writing and singing workshop.

There will be a pre-Conference workshop on Sunday morning where delegates will work with Josh to compose the lyrics to Conference theme song, 'Better Together'. 

There will also be morning Singing Workshops where delegates will form a conference choir and rehearse the song in preparation for a performance on the final day.

The conference choir will be joined by local primary school students in the final performance.

This is an opportunity not to be missed!

Luke Campbell, Second Echo Ensemble

SEE’s mission is to create and present exceptional performance that challenges assumptions, shakes up stereotypes and gives voice to untold stories. We don’t make performance about having a disability or not having a disability. We make work about life, about its surroundings, its imaginings, its rhythms, its angers and its celebrations. Come and meet ensemble member Luke Campbell and hear about the making of his work BY MY HAND which was recently presented by Dark MOFO and toured to a Festival in Finland.

Luke will also be in residence on the Artist in Conversation Couch on Tuesday 26 March 2019.

Mambo Afro Trio

The Mambo Afro Trio comprises:   Mwase Makalani (Malawi) ( vocals, percussion),  Alan Welsh (Malaysia) (classical guitar), Matthew Fargher (Yorkshire/Adelaide) (violin, cavaqinho, ukulele, vocals).

The Mambo Afro Trio formed around Mwase Makalani bringing together the distinct multi-instrumental talents of a group that marries Flamenco, Samba, High Life with the music of Malawi and South Africa. Mwase leads a dynamic, wild and joyous trio, belting out international hits like Miriam Makeba’s Pata Pata alongside old kwela songs, village songs of Malawi and gorgeous instrumental originals.

Keynote and concurrent speaker: Jill Sonke

Jill Sonke is the Director of the Center for the Arts in Medicine at the University of Florida (UF) and Assistant Director of UF Health Shands Arts in Medicine. She serves on the faculty of the UF Center for Arts in Medicine, and is an affiliated faculty member in the School of Theatre & Dance, the Center for African Studies, the STEM Translational Communication Center, the One Health Center, and the Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration.

Jill is an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellow in the UF Warrington College of Business, serves on the editorial board for Arts & Health journal, and directs the national initiative, Creating Health Communities: Arts + Public Health in America.

With 25 years of experience and leadership in arts in health, Jill is active in research, teaching, and international cultural exchange. Her current research focuses on the arts and health communication, the arts in public health, and the effects of music on cost and quality of care in emergency and trauma medicine. Jill is the recipient of numerous arts, public health and entrepreneurship awards and over 150 grants for her programs and research at the University of Florida.

Silks—Adie Delaney

After graduating from the National Institute of Circus Arts in 2006, Adie travelled the world performing as an aerialist and acrobat at various festivals, mostly with the UK’s leading large-scale contemporary circus NoFitState.

Personal highlights include playing the Roundhouse in London and the Tohu in Montreal, and being described as ‘irrepressible’ by Total Theatre magazine.

Other projects include a smaller scale flying trapeze show that premiered in Finland, managing a community circus school in the UK, and performing in a community engagement street circus. Adie returned home to Tasmania in 2015 and started The Circus Studio which has grown since then to become a thriving community.

RANT Arts—Nathan Tucker

At present Nathan is Executive Co-Director of RANT Arts, Tasmania's premier regional arts organisation. Nathan is a writer and visual artist. He has extensive experience as a business and marketing manager in corporate, arts and hospitality sectors. He has a strong history of freelance, business and media writing and managed the community Arts organisation Rising Phoenix Studios. Nathan currently delivers the federal Regional Arts Fund grant program in Tasmania.

RED—Liz Lea

RED explores Liz Lea’s journey and experiences with Endometriosis. She had the disease for 20 years as she created and toured her work internationally. Returning to Australia she needed a bowel reconstruction – all of which could have been avoided had she paid attention to her body and her body’s needs.

RED challenges laughter, relief and tenacity. Let Liz Lea get you in touch with your mischievous self in this new and captivating work about the temporal workings of the body.

An extraordinary self-reflexive tale told by one woman with a particular take on how time passes for us all. Through irony and wit, Lea opens the RED door and shines a light on the hidden taboo subject matter of women’s business (or the cycle of womanhood ?) and society’s attitude to the female body.

Liz Lea is a performer, choreographer and producer based in NSW and Canberra after 20 years in Europe, touring internationally. Her speciality is working with classical Indian dance and martial arts. She has worked with Ranjabati Sircar, Mavin Khoo, the Royal Opera House and English Bach Festival and been commissioned in India, UK, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and USA.

Andy Vagg—A galaxy of possibilities

Many of us understand the valuable role that the arts can play to promote health and well-being. But where do you begin? For many people, the idea of art making and performing can be intimidating and overwhelming. Using everyday objects and materials, this workshop will lead you through an art making experience that will open your eyes to the possibilities of the creative process. Starting with materials that are familiar and accessible, you will build confidence to begin exploring and making, and developing your own interpretation and ideas. The process is open-ended; investigating the different ways materials can be re-used and re-imagined. The materials are employed in varying ways: creating new objects, forming make believe worlds, sorting into shapes, colours and textures, making figurative and abstract pictures, as well as repurposing objects for all manner of activities, including, but not limited to, theatre and performance, dance, music; whatever the imagination can conjure up!

Andy will be in residence in the Making Space on Wednesday 27 March 2019

Foyer installation: Artists in conversation with Julie Waddington

MENTAL - The Mother Load is a creative documentary performance exploring the beauty, grotesque and poetic in the madness and mundane of motherhood.

Julie will be in residence on the Artist in Conversation Couch on Monday 25 March 2019 to talk, share ideas and the load.

Foyer installation: A Broken Puzzle

Dianne Reid - “A Broken Puzzle shows us dance transcends and uplifts, reveals strengths and fragilities, and captures the rhythms of moving human bodies.” Jordan Beth Vincent, The Age

Dianne will be in residence on the Artist in Conversation Couch on Wednesday 27 March 2019 to talk about her work with diverse communities.

Foyer installation: Making Space, Better Together with Gwen Egg and Roz Wren

Tassie textile artists Roz Wren and Gwen Egg invite you to take a seat at the long table weaving - to meditate, reflect, converse and collaborate - to share yarns and weave stories. The long table weaving creates a site for delegates to take time out, change the pace and meet other conference goers face to face; a place to reconnect with colleagues from far flung parts of the country and build new networks. Over  the conference the ideas and experiences of delegates will be woven together in a creative expression of the conference theme - better together!

 Roz + Gwen will be in residence in the Making Space, Monday, 25 March through Wednesday 27 March 2019.

Foyer installation: Small stories, Kirsty Grierson and Leigh Tesch

The Small Stories Project supports small people to build big connections.  It provides storytelling and creative play experiences for young children (0-5 years) and their parents and caregivers.    Performances and workshops are offered to support children’s learning and development, and to encourage parents and children to build their relationship through co-creating together. Lead artists Kirsty Grierson and Leigh Tesch have considerable experience working in early childhood with vulnerable communities.  They will be in the foyer at the National Rural Health Conference to talk about their work and offer creative and practical activities for you to try.  

Kirsty and Leigh will be in residence in the making space on Monday 25 March 2019

Foyer installation: Art Teller Machine, Kickstart Arts

Summary:  Angels of our Better Nature features digital art and short films that explore the unique life experience and relationships of people living with acquired brain injuries (ABI), made by the people themselves.

Kickstart Arts employed some of Tasmania’s foremost artists to help people with ABI, their carers and families, to tell stories that express powerful and beautiful things about what it is to be human.

The videos have a generosity that will speak to the hearts of all who see them.

The videos are presented in a unique and beautiful sculptural objecta 2.2 metre tall steel head, that invites you to look into its eyes and watch & listen to stories at the back. The head was designed collaboratively by project participants with ABI and designer Max Meyer, with help from technologists Matt Daniels and Matthew Fargher. More information:

Foyer installation: 11 million reasons to dance, Sean Goldthorpe

Highlights from a photographic exhibition that aims to change people’s perceptions around dance and disability.

11 Million Reasons to Dance is a photography exhibition and short film programme that was conceptualised and launched in 2014 through funding from Unlimited Impact and Arts Council England. Since its launch, the exhibition has been touring the UK and overseas, featuring Sean Goldthorpe’s 20 commissioned images of iconic dance moments from film, all reimagined by Deaf, sight impaired and disabled dancers.

Sean Goldthorpe’s stylishly composed, challenging and fun images have captured the interest of people across the globe, challenging perceptions of disability and dance, and how creative work by Deaf and disabled people is presented, supported and appreciated.

The 11 Million Reasons to Dance photography exhibition is a People Dancing commission, supported by Unlimited Impact, Arts Council England and private contributors through our Sponsume campaign, launched in 2014.

Foyer installation: The Tribute Program, Inscape Visual Arts

The Tribute program is an Inscape visual arts program that recognises and values stories from people who are hospitalised at the Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH). The Inscape illustrator spends time with a selected patient; listens to their stories with a focus on celebratory moments and finding the spark within them.

The illustrator collaborates with the patient to create a meaningful and cherished artwork that beautifully depicts the essence of that person. The patient and their loved ones keep the original artwork as a memento and, with their permission, a copy of their artwork is exhibited in a public space at the hospital.

Presentation:  Our aim is to offer the actual experience of receiving a Tribute artwork to 2 selected conference delegates and for other interested delegates to observe the process as the artists create the work in the foyer.

*Delegates who are interested in having the experience will put their name in a hat on Monday morning, and at lunchtime, two names will be drawn.

The selected two will each spend half an hour on Monday afternoon privately telling their story to the Inscape Arts Health Facilitator. On Tuesday morning, Inscape's two illustrators, Alyssa Bermudez and Jenny Masters, will spend an additional 15 minutes with the delegates and then proceed over the next 3 hours to create the artworks in the foyer of the conference venue. During the day, people may pass by the Tribute Artwork 'studio' area to see the artworks take shape and once finished, the artwork will be gifted to the 2 participants.

The artists, Alyssa Bermudez and Jenny Masters, will be in the Making Space on Tuesday 26 March 2019.

Foyer installation: Broken Bodies

Broken Bodies, University of Tasmania School of Medicine (public Health), School of Creative Arts and Media, Institute for the Study of Social Change and School of Social Sciences.

The personal and emotive subject of why women stop breastfeeding and what they go through is the focus of this research and exhibition. This translational research project is aimed at giving voice to women’s and men complex, personal breastfeeding experiences through art.

Broken Bodies is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania School of Medicine (public Health), School of Creative Arts and Media, Institute for the Study of Social Change and School of Social Sciences. The curated exhibition presents a combination of sculpture, video and sound works to explore the research narratives and provide a unique platform for engagement.

The Broken Bodies Exhibition will be open from Sunday 24 March through Wednesday 27 March 2019

Foyer installation: A Broken Puzzle

Since 1993 Dianne Reid has created 28 dance screen works. Her dance films have screened at Festivals in Norway, Sweden, India, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with return invitations to screen at Videodance, Greece (02 & 04) and ADF Dancing for the Camera, USA (04, 09, 10, & 11). Her 2010 collaboration with Weave Movement Theatre, A Broken Puzzle, was awarded a distinction by the 2011 ADF Screendance Festival for “a work that is invested with dignity and humanity, and demonstrating the potential for Screendance to make a difference”.

Sit for a while and experience one of Dianne’s short films. Dianne is also moderating the Arts + Health Concurrent Session C on Tuesday, 26 March and will be in residence throughout the Conference.

Stop by to have a chat about her work on Wednesday, 27 March when she is in residence on the Artists in Conversation couch.

Tropical Arts—Avril Duck and Velvet Eldred

Avril Duck and Velvet Eldred are theatre makers from Cairns. With a combined practice experience of 60 years, they understand the impact that the Arts can have on an individual's wellbeing and that of the whole community. Avril's teaching background and Velvet's art therapy and counselling background are the pillars of their current arts practice for Tropical Arts. This collaborative theatre organisation has a 10-year reputation of fulfilling a promise to the community to include everyone who wants to be in and find them a place to belong. Their presentation in Session E will delve into the way they practice and the case studies are lit by beautiful photographs of their 10th annual Shakespeare at the Tanks production.