School of Architecture

Hosted by

UQ School of Architecture


Wednesday 12 June 2019 9:00am to 4:30pm


Room 275 (level 2)
Global Change Institute (Bldg 20)
The University of Queensland 
​Saint Lucia, QLD 4067


Registrations for this event are now closed

The Indigenous Art + Healthcare Architecture Colloquium explores the production, place and significance of Indigenous art in hospitals and clinics. In recent healthcare facilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artworks are integrated in the building fabric or installed as a permanent feature of public spaces. Evidence from disparate studies suggests that art in a healthcare setting is therapeutic, a positive distraction that can reduce patient stress, and, historically, artworks have been used to decorate and humanise clinical environments. Despite broader interest in the benefits of art to health care, collaborative projects between artists and designers are unevenly adopted across regions and states. Recent examples of major artworks in public healthcare buildings reinforce the need for close collaboration between artists, curators and design consultants at the early stages of a project—a practice that benefits from explicit policies about commissioning art during the procurement of healthcare architecture. 

This colloquium raises questions about assumptions and practices in the current uses of Indigenous art in healthcare buildings. How do Indigenous artworks give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a sense of inclusion in healthcare setting? Is more evidence needed about how people respond to Indigenous art in health spaces? Questions arise about art and design practice and limits to the scope of the artist in a public hospital or health clinic? What can recent projects reveal about policy and the curation of in-built art for future healthcare architecture? Artists, architects, curators, administrators and academics will discuss recent projects that integrate Indigenous art in healthcare architecture in Australia.

Convened by Professor Françoise Dussart & Timothy O’Rourke

  • Professor Bronwyn Fredericks (The University of Queensland)
    Professor Bronwyn Fredericks is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) at The University of Queensland. 
  • Professor Cameron Bruhn (The University of Queensland)
    Professor Cameron Bruhn is the Head of the School of Architecture at The University of Queensland.
  • Bianca Beetson (Griffith University)
    Bianca Beetson is a Gubbi Gubbi/Kabi Kabi (Sunshine Coast) Waradjuri (NSW) visual artist. She is a Brisbane-based artist and Senior Lecturer at Griffith University.
  • Judy Watson 
    Judy Watson is a multi-media artist who works in print-making, painting, video and installation. She is a Brisbane-based Waanyi artist.
  • John Stafford (Creative Move)
    John Stafford is a Director of CREATIVEMOVE, a Brisbane-based visual arts consultancy specialising in public art commissions, artist services and curatorial projects. 
  • Carolyn Karnovsky (Urban Art Projects)
    Carolyn Karnovsky is a studio principal at Urban Art Projects (UAP). 
  • Mark Healey (Bates Smart)
    Mark Healey is a Studio Director at Bates Smart Melbourne. 
  • Bruce Wolfe (Conrad Gargett)
    Bruce Wolfe is a principal at Conrad Gargett and the former Managing Director of the architecture practice.
  • Lynne Seear (Queensland Health)
    Lynne Seear is the curator of the Arts in Health Program at the Queensland Children’s Hospital. 
  • Françoise Dussart (University of Connecticut)
    Françoise Dussart is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Connecticut. 
  • Tim O’Rourke (The University of Queensland)
    Tim O’Rourke is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture, The University of Queensland. 

Image: Judy Watson, water memory 2012. Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) by Wilson Architects, Brisbane.

Photo: Carl Warner. Courtesy of the artist and Milani Gallery, Brisbane.



Please direct all enquiries about this event to:

Timothy O'Rourke