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What’s On at the Centre for Creative Health



The Centre for Creative Health (CCH) is proud to present ‘Summit at the Horizon’ by Sonya Unwin, “A Silent Rhythm’ by Alice Blanch and ‘Healing Medicinal Leaves’ by artists from the Circle of Arts Foundation.  Each exhibition celebrates the artist’s connection with the environment and natural landscape and encourages the viewer to engage with and be immersed in the natural world.  The CCH invites you to visit the RAH galleries to view our current exhibitions on display from June to August as part of SALA Festival 2018.

– Fiona Borthwick, Gallery Coordinator, Centre for Creative Health


Bessie Davidson & Emerging Artist Galleries – ‘Healing Medicinal Leaves’ – The Circle of Arts Foundation featuring artists Bernadine Johnson, Gloria Petyarre, Gypsy Draven, Audrey Brumby

Ancient ancestral knowledge of native medicinal flora is taught as women gather traditional Bush Medicine, usually as a communal group, passing from the Elders and Aunties to the upcoming Keepers of this Knowledge – about the leaves, bark, fruits, bulbs, roots and grasses, varied across all nations.

Artists like to paint the beautiful medicine plants infinite forms, as in nature as on canvas. You will see “Healing Medicine Leaves” stories shown in many stylised Artworks, all sharing a calming effect and possessing exceptional creative, aesthetic and cultural merit.

Bernadine Johnson, a SALA 2017 Finalist with her amazing acrylic on canvas “Silver Medicine Leaves” is married to respected artist Stephen Martin Pitjara, who is Gloria Petyarre’s and Anna Pitjara’s brother.  Bernadine paints Healing Medicine in many forms and captures the colours in the air after rain in her strokes.

Gloria Petyarre, sometimes referred to as Gloria Pitjara, is one of the most famous and significant of all female Australian Aboriginal Artists living and working today. Gloria is a much repeated elder and has made an enormous contribution to her Community and Australia.

Gypsy Draven paints in passionate yet detailed and precise sweeping patters and writes big stories to go with them. She is strongly connected to nature and runs a personal natural food and medical garden. Gypsy is guided by her grandfather when she paints.

Audrey Brumby grew up and was a teacher in Ernabella. Audrey paints with the colours of the seasons in long gracious flows as we sway with the medicine reeds in the water or glide in the wind like an autumn leaf. Her artwork shows her love of her country as she paints.

Glenda Hayes Aunty Glenda Hayes is the Matriarch of a large family and the Custodian of traditions that are passed on to her daughters through to great granddaughters, along with her knowledge of Bush Medicines. Glenda was born near Alice Springs at a time unrecorded and her Skin Name is Kumurra.

The Circle of Arts Foundation is all about Healing with Arts. The beautiful free flowing artworks by the Aboriginal ladies in this exhibition are painted with love for their bushland. Love for the healing gifts in nature, used for thousands of years in traditional medicines. We are honoured to show this collection within such an ideal setting and hope that the gentle calming patterns bring you pleasure and bring you closer to nature.

Bernadine Johnson – ‘Medicine Leaves and Seeds’


Audrey Brumby New Growth Spring Medicine Leaves

Audrey Brumby – ‘New Growth Spring Medicine Leaves’


Gypsy Draven Fresh Medicine Leaves

Gypsy Draven – ‘Fresh Medicine Leaves’



Circle of Arts Foundation

Circle of Arts Foundation

Glenelg Art & Gift Gallery

Glenelg Art Gallery

Sir Ivor Hele Gallery – ‘Summit at the Horizon’ – Sonya Unwin

Sonya Unwin’s studio practice currently focuses on the exploration of the horizon as an imaginary place, a philosophical, meditative threshold often represented in paintings as lineal. Aldinga Bay on The Fleurieu Peninsula has become the catalyst and inspiration of the paintings in ‘Summit at the Horizon’.

Unwin considers the horizon to be a liminal concept, a non-place of contemplation where the convergence of hues boasts a widely diffused light that changes often. The horizon presents an immense and unlimited space from which to paint both en plein air and in the studio.

Poetically there are connections with textual work from Gaston Bachelard and Cy Twombly inspires with his abstract mark-making and Rothko’s colour-field paintings continue to influence the compositions.

Artwork within a medical environment humanises the space, creating conversation, distractions and a sense of serenity in a sometimes emotionally charged space.

Long waits in longer corridors can be made easier by art that poses questions, creates laughter, encourages calm or is there purely for aesthetic connection.

This suite of watercolours holds a serenity inspired by the extraordinary beauty and energy of the coastal regions along the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Inspired by the ever-changing junction where sky and sea fuse. This sense of distance and the fusion of light, colour and physical elements play an environmental role in her psyche, connecting her to this place of calm, wild beauty.

Sonya Unwin is an artist, emerging curator and picture framer, with a studio at Collective Haunt Inc., Norwood. She holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours) from the University of South Australia and curates the Metro Art Space at The Hotel Metropolitan. Sonya was one of the inaugural SALA Artists in Residence at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and is the current recipient of the Helpmann Academy 2017 Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) Foundation Arts in Health Mentorship.


Sonya Unwin Serenity


Margaret Preston Gallery – ‘A Silent Rhythm’ – Alice Blanch

A Silent Rhythm is a collection of photographs by emerging artist Alice Blanch. The series was captured across the Australian continent with a particular focus on meeting points found within the landscape; where the land means the sky, the sky meets the ocean and the ocean meets the land’s edge.

Alice uses photographic film in antique cameras to capture emotive imagery of the landscape. Undertaking strenuous journeys on foot or by bicycle for days or weeks at a time through the landscape she is able to connect with the sublet rhythms present within nature. The resulting art works are evocative and quiet portraits of the landscape.

I am very glad to be exhibiting these works within the new RAH building and I hope that through these photographic landscapes patients, visitors and hospital workers can find a sense of clarity and calmness and experience a connection to the natural environment.

Alice Blanch Untitled 3

‘Untitled #3’

Alice Blanch Between Sunrises 13

‘Between Sunrises #13’