The Art of Healing: Australian Indigenous Bush Medicine exhibition looks at traditional Indigenous healing practice, exploring past, present and future approaches to traditional medicine. It will present examples of healing practice through contemporary art from the many distinct and varied indigenous communities throughout Australia, and follows the premise of Tjukurrpa (dreaming).
All works in the exhibition are linked by the strong connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Australia, and the habit of passing down cultural knowledge to the next generation. The works use a range of techniques and media, including painting in ochre and acrylic, printmaking, weaving and ceramics.
Eucalyptus leaves are boiled to create an oil to treat bruises and cuts, or infused and inhaled to help alleviate symptoms of asthma, body aches, chills and fever, while the treated bark soothes inflamed limbs. Such remedies are still in use in Aboriginal communities, where people over many generations have learnt which plants have health properties and which are toxic.
There will be curator tours of the exhibition at 17.00 on 15, 16 and 17 May with Dr Jacky Healy, Senior curator, Medical History Museum and Henry Forman Atkinson Dental Museum, University of Melbourne. No booking required.
Download the exhibition guide here and find out more about the exhibition's events programme here.
The Art of Healing is open 12.00 to 19.00, Monday to Friday (last entry 18.30), and is free and open to all.
The Art of Healing is a partnership between Menzies Australia Institute at King's College London, the Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, the Medical History Museum, University of Melbourne and the London exhibition is supported by the university’s Culture team.