Art & us

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at The Wheeler Centre

Art & health

Good art can provoke, explore, or simply entrance. But can it also be good for your health? Can healthy (or healing) art be good art? Does it matter?

Art can be a powerful prescription for people of all ages, from troubled youth to the ailing elderly. We’ll look at whether art can be healthy by stealth, where the best bang for the buck lies, and how we make art for health alluring, rather than earnest.

Host Jerril Rechter, CEO of VicHealth will appear with Janet Morrison, CEO of Independent Age, Polyglot Theatre’s Sue Giles, and clown doctor Clare Bartholomew.

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Portrait of Clare Bartholomew

Clare Bartholomew

Clare Bartholomew has been performing, writing and producing new work in Australia and overseas for 17 years. She teaches clown master classes, has been a clown doctor working in children’s wards for 15 years. She assists in training and development of clown doctors nationally, and in 2014 completed a three week intensive with 20 other international clown doctors in Barcelona.

Portrait of Sue Giles

Sue Giles

Sue Giles has been artistic director of children’s contemporary arts company Polyglot Theatre since 2000. With the company she has created participatory works ranging from large-scale play spaces to theatre created with children at the centre of the art and art making. Polyglot’s work is recognised internationally as a leader in experimental, interactive and installation theatre for children

Portrait of Janet Morrison

Janet Morrison

Janet Morrison is Chief Executive of Independent Age - a national advice, befriending and advocacy organisation in the UK for older people in need - which campaigns on issues affecting independence in old age, including health and social care, isolation and loneliness. Janet is also Chairman of the Baring Foundation, the principal philanthropic funding body for creative ageing initiatives in the UK.

Portrait of Mike White

Mike White

Mike White is an international authority on community arts and health practice and research. He is Director of Strategic Development at the Australian Centre for Arts and Health, the national not for profit peak body for the arts and health sector.

Portrait of Jerril Rechter

Jerril Rechter

Jerril Rechter is the CEO of VicHealth. Her expertise lies in health promotion, leadership, and the potential of innovation to improve health and wellbeing for everyone.

Art & us

The nature and meaning of art has been hotly debated for centuries, but in this new series for 2014, the Wheeler Centre explores the impact of art in a variety of contexts. We look at how artistic practice fits in to the many diverse aspects of everyday life, as well as how its context has a direct effect on the realms of inspiration and creation.


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