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NSW Launch of National Palliative Care Week

Date: Sunday 20 May 2018

Time: 10:00am – 11:30am AEST

Location: Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road Sydney, NSW 2000

Cost: Free for members and $20 + fees for all other guests. 

Members of Palliative Care NSW came along to the launch of National Palliative Care Week on Sunday 20 May at 10am at the beautiful Art Gallery of NSW. The NSW Minister for Health the Hon Brad Hazzard launched the week. Members were spoiled with morning tea and an opportunity to wander around the gallery on a Sunday morning.

This was an opportunity to also launch the new partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW – art appreciation small courses. Some lucky members were offered the chance to sign up to a carefully curated art appreciation course – small groups – led by one of the galleries expert guides. The theme was What Matters Most to Art of Dying?

The Art Gallery of New South Wales have been operating an access program since 2009 for people living with dementia (a report produced by researchers at University of Technology Sydney is available (Kenning 2016)). This provides the opportunity for people living with dementia and their carers to have a supported viewing of world-class artworks, with trained arts facilitators who can guide people through the experience of looking, listening and talking about art, followed by an art making experience.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales are now working with Palliative NSW to explore how this experience of arts engagement through viewing and making can be extended to professional care staff, carers and family members and people receiving palliative care. While arts engagement has been carried in the palliative care environment, this will be the first program where trained art guides will select 2-3 art works for viewing, and facilitated discussion about them and the ideas and responses they provoke. The art works will vary in subject matter, style and format and will be used to prompt discussion on a wide range of issues—prompted by the artwork—about what matters most, it will explore issues related to ritual, beliefs, transition, reflection, materiality, and many more.

As one of the first program of its kind, Art Gallery of New South Wales and Palliative NSW will work with researchers at University of Technology Sydney to evaluate the program from the outset and follow its developments. It will use an action and grounded research approach to build on existing knowledge with regard to arts access programs and arts engagement (Kenning 2016, Kenning and Gullotta 2018) and to develop a series of programs suited to the wide range of stakeholders involved in palliative care.


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