Look good, feel good: the art of healing

Fraser, Jenny (2010) Look good, feel good: the art of healing. Artlink: Australian Contemporary Art Quarterly, 30 (1). pp. 94-96. ISSN 0727-1239.

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Long before the official Apology by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the victims of the residential schools system, the previous Canadian Government had handed over $350 million compensation for those Aboriginal people who suffered abuse as wards of the state. This was wisely invested into culturally significant initiatives such as talking circles, language revitalisation, digital storytelling and other projects. Such arts initiatives are not only for the good of those individuals that endured horrific treatment under the government, church and the dominant mainstream population, but their descendants, families and tribes, along with the wider community. This is a suitable model for Australia to follow in attempting to address the impact of the horrendous wrongs of the past on an individual and collective level, perhaps allowing us all to move forward with a healthier mindset. However, we wait for that type of meaningful ‘money where your mouth is’ gesture of commitment from the Australian Government in retrospect.

Meanwhile at the community level, some artists from around Australia are proactively making headway into maintaining what I like to call the ‘Healing Arts’, highlighting the processes and issues regarding the wellbeing of Aboriginal people and also the inter-relatedness of others. The Healing Arts have the expressive potential for us as a multitude of Aboriginal cultures to enable and effect change for ourselves, while also participating in the mainstream social constructs known as ‘health’, ‘culture’ and ‘the arts’. Some of those leading the way in both ancient and newer forms of Aboriginal expression are Gulumbu Yunupingu, Emma Donovan and myself.

Item Type: Article
Field of Research (2008): 19 Studies in Creative Arts and Writing > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts > 190599 Visual Arts and Crafts not elsewhere classified
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200201 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Studies
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Date Deposited: 04 May 2011 00:31
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2011 22:34
URI: https://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/237

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