Art psychotherapy, postcolonialism and visual arts (Australian Indigenous Knowledges)

Westwood, Jill. 2019. Art psychotherapy, postcolonialism and visual arts (Australian Indigenous Knowledges). [Professional Activity]


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Abstract or Description

Dr Jill Westwood was invited to collaborate on a series of research activities with colleagues (Dr Tarquam McKenna, Dr Sheridan Linnell, Dr Andy Gilroy) including co-leading 2 symposia and book launches at Deakin University and Western Sydney University, Australia to promote and explore the research knowledge and ideas expressed within, and embodied by their published text; Art therapy in Australia: taking a postcolonial, aesthetic turn (Gilroy, Linnell, McKenna and Westwood; Brill-Sense, 2019). This included collaboration on the development of an Indigenous arts therapies programme as part of proposed MA Public Health (Deakin University) and an immersive art-based research project to progress knowledge and understanding of Indigenous arts therapies and art psychotherapies pedagogies.

This work seeks to challenge the dominant discourses in contemporary art therapy and aims to decolonise theories and practices by foregrounding the visual, drawing on new voices and old knowledges to create a different narrative thread for the profession, one that re-imagines art therapy into new places of existence and inclusive, resilient communities of practice. The aim is to disseminate the ideas explored in the book and to develop contextualised thinking about Indigenous perspectives on art therapy, visual arts methodologies and art psychotherapy pedagogies. Modes of inquiry using the language of ‘art psychotherapy’ and how the ‘Western’ languages of mental health intersect with meanings within an Indigenous ontology is at the core and the primary purpose of this project.

Item Type:

Professional Activity


Art therapy, Australia, postcolonial, aesthetic, Aboriginal and Torres-Strait Islander perspectives

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies



Event Location:

Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University, Australia

Date range:

31 January - 1 March 2019

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Feb 2020 12:52

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 17:25


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