The Art of Healing tours internationally

20 works from The Art of Healing: Australian Indigenous bush medicine exhibition are travelling to London and Berlin. The exhibition, which follows the premise of Tjukurrpa (dreaming) to look simultaneously at past, present and future traditional Indigenous healing practice, is currently at King’s College London, and will travel to Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin in October.

(L to R) Rene Kulitja and Pantjiti Imitjala Lewis, Ngangkaṟi (traditional healers) from Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Womens Council (NPYWC) in Alice Springs, at the King's College London exhibition. Both women are traditional owners of Uluru and Rena is related to Ilawanti Ungkutjuru Ken, whose work Tjulpu wiltja: bird nest basket is in the window behind them.

The original exhibition was launched at the Faculty's Medical History Museum on 23 April 2019, and the 20 works are currently on display at Bush House, King’s College London. They will remain there until 28 June 2019, and will then travel to the Berlin Museum of Medical History, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, where they will be on show from 24 October 2019 - 2 February 2020.

Dhungala cool burn, 2017, Treahna Hamm (b. 1965), acrylic paint, river sand, bark ink on canvas, 100.9 × 114.0cm (one panel)

A major work featured in the travelling exhibition, Dhungala cool burn by Treahna Hamm, celebrates the ancestral knowledge of healing of the Yorta Yorta people. Dhungala cool burn shows women and girls collecting bush medicine along the banks of dhungala (the Murray River), placing the medicines in coolamons and in dilly bags.

Tjulpu wiltja: bird nest basket, 2017, Ilawanti Ungkutjuru Ken (b. 1944), tjanpi, wool, raffia, emu feathers, wire, 50.0 × 60.0 × 50.0 cm

Another work featured in the exhibition, Tjulpu wiltja: bird nest basket, was created by elder and Ngangkaṟi (traditional healer), Ilawanti Ungkutjuru Ken, based on observations of birds’ nests. The work shows the power of family and community for a person’s wellbeing.

More information about The Art of Healing: Australian Indigenous bush medicine international tour can be found here.

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A series of cultural programs are also being held in partnership with the Menzies Centre of King’s College London:

In conversation with the Ngangkaṟi
16 May 2019
King’s College London

Iriti-nguru kuwari-kutu, ngarala ngaranyi (Unchanged from long ago until today our work continues). A conversation between Rene Kulitja and Pantijiti Lewis, Ngangkaṟi from the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women's Council (NPYWC) in Alice Springs, and Professor Sandra Eades, Aboriginal Child and Adolescent Health, University of Melbourne.

Healing Images, Healing Stories
18 June 2019
King’s College London

A guest lecture with Professor Helen Milroy, Winthrop Professor and Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health, University of Western Australia; Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist with the Specialist Aboriginal Mental Health Service, Department of Health.

Kopi Workshop with Maree Clarke
11 and 12 June 2019
Border Crossings’ ORIGINS Festival, London

A two-day workshop exploring Indigenous Australian mourning rituals, through the making of Kopi mourning caps from gypsum locally sourced from the Murray river in Mutti Mutti country.

Further details can be found at kcl.ac.uk and originsfestival.bordercrossings.org.uk.