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National art competition highlights what matters most during the holiday season

The holiday season is a time we spend with our friends and family, reflecting on the year that was and planning for the year to come. In this time, we think about what matters most to us and the things we find most important.

In the lead up to this holiday season, Palliative Care Australia (PCA) hosted the third Dying to Talk online art competition which asked participants to create a piece of art that demonstrates what matters most to them during the holiday season.  With a record of 125 entries submitted, artworks were created by artists all around the country.

Home is where the heart is by Carissa Paglino

The overall winner of the competition, scored by an experienced judging panel, was Carissa Paglino’s ‘Home is where the heart is’ drawing.  Carissa’s drawing represents her family and her understanding of how important it is to have them close by at the end of life.  

“The artwork evokes nostalgia, tradition and sentiment and speaks of the ‘things of the heart.

“Palliative care is something very close to my heart as my grandmother, who suffers from dementia, diabetes, Addison’s disease, osteoarthritis as well as other ailments, lives at home with us. We know that she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but home as she nears the end of her life,” Ms Paglino said.

Carissa expresses her love for art and how it can be used as a great way to escape and relax from the chaos of the world.

“I am very honoured that the judges enjoyed my artwork. Making people happy by looking at my art is what’s most important.

See you soon by Sosan Nasir

“I believe art plays a very important role in our healing and our self-expression, at all stages of life. Picasso said ‘everyone is born an artist, the trouble is staying one when you grow up’,” Ms Paglino said.

The people’s choice award was presented to Sosan Nasir for her ‘See you soon’ drawing. Sosan’s drawing signifies the love for her family and the desire to go back home to be surrounded by loves ones during the holiday season. 

“I have always loved Christmas and everything about it, from the trees to the lights and the beautiful decorations and music, I just love it all. I also love kittens. I’d thought there would be no better way to show everything I am feeling in this moment than to create a drawing of a kitten surrounded by the beauty of the holiday season reaching out for an ornament with its family in it to depict the distance but the constant yearning to be home,” Ms Nasir said.

Support by Carol Nagy

Sosan believes art plays a vital role in the end of life and can help provide solace for people with a terminally illness and their families.

“Art is very therapeutic; if you or someone you know is running away from something, hurting or even extremely happy, art gives us the ability to explore that in any way imaginable in order to express that feeling and come to 

terms with it,” Ms Nasir said.

The PCA winner was awarded Carol Nagy for her ‘Support’ painting. Carol’s artwork shows how support networks can be made up of many different individuals including brothers, daughters, doctors, neighbours, a spouse, nurses, grandchildren or lifelong friends.

“The love and support of YOUR network matters most during the holiday season. I hoped to make someone smile despite a very emotional and sensitive topic,” Ms Nagy said.

This year ‘Support’ will be featured on the cover of Palliative Care Australia’s Christmas card.

Congratulations to all winners and thank you to all the artist who participated. To view all entries from the competition, click here.


  • Seriously pretty painting however reality is the nuclear family rarely exists. We as palliative care providers accept and care for the different family structure. Therefore there may be no traditional home or family structure- I believe that an abstract view of family is where the heart is- no judgement just acceptance. J

    - Janelle

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