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Art from the heart: Using art narrative to describe the experiences of a health promotion program in an Australian aboriginal community

Nilson, C., Kearing, G., Fetherston, C. and Morrison, P. (2015) Art from the heart: Using art narrative to describe the experiences of a health promotion program in an Australian aboriginal community. International Journal of Arts, Theory and History, 10 (3). pp. 13-32.

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Abstract

This article describes an art narrative project that encouraged the participants of the Bindjareb Yorgas Health Program (BYHP), in the South West of Western Australia, to share their personal experiences of involvement. The aims of the BYHP are: to foster a more supportive health environment amongst the Bindjareb community’s women and their families through participation, communication, and relationship building; the development of personal skills in achieving and maintaining wellness; and strengthening community actions by facilitating individual and group self-determination. As Aboriginal art is used to convey different kinds of storytelling this has aided in the expression of the community’s collective identity and has enabled the telling and re-telling of their stories across varying cultures, and to a range of audiences. The expression of personal and group narratives through art will also ensure that positive stories promoting family health and wellbeing can be told many times over with different groups of Aboriginal people resulting in the potential for on-going change. Moreover, the innovative approach taken here will also lead to embedded stories in the local cultural group, around the processes and outcomes of the project and its impact on their health. This article discusses the processes involved in the production of the art and the ‘meaning making’ that resulted from the project guided by frameworks of communication and behavioural change.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Health Professions
Publisher: Common Ground Publishing Pty Ltd
Copyright: 2015 The Authors
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27969
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