College of Arts and Social Sciences

Artworks below are created by artists from ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences. . Inspirations and designs in which artworks below are created are derived from ANU Academics or research project from ANU Academics. 

Artwork title: 'Continuing/Wollemi Park'

The work Continuing/Wollemi Park was made in response to the ongoing research conducted at the ANU by researchers Dr. Duncan Wright, Amy Way and Wayne Brennan. This research seeks to use a community approach in uniting scientific research and, knowledge from the Aboriginal community in the conservation of important heritage rock art sites in the Blue Mountains which have been affected by the recent fires.

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In conversing with these researchers, I reached a greater understanding of the importance of place in which the rock art is found and the connection between the site and artwork, the cultural landscape empowering the work. For this reason, I focused on depicting the surrounding landscape and its deep and significant history, using the device of layering and line to depict the passing of time and the affect of the bushfires on the landscape. The differing perspectives aiming to create an engulfing impression of space, allowing the viewer to move within the space and experience the sublime nature of the landscape, I acknowledge the traditional custodians of this land and pay respects to Elders past, present emerging.

Artist: Sarah Murray

Sarah Murray is an emerging Canberra based artist whose work explores of the bodily relation to landscape, the physicality ofmaking and the reflection of the internal psychological landscape. Working both en plein air and in the studio, she aims to create work that engages with the landscape and communicates our relationship with it. Sarah’s work balances between figuration and abstraction, and she is interested in mark-making and the gestural nature of painting and drawing. 

Dr Duncan Wright

Dr Duncan Wright is a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University’s School of Archaeology and Anthropology with a research interest in mythology. His research adopts a partnership approach, collaborations with Islander and Australian communities who seek to historicise (through archaeology, including rock art) practices and places of social, political and/ or spiritual significance.

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Dr Wright currently has active projects in Torres Strait, Blue Mountains and Czech Republic. Culture Hero Sagas continue to structure the identities and relationships of Torres Strait Islander communities. At the request of Goemulgal and Meriam, this project is exploring the long-term histories of these cultural connections.

An additional collaborative project examines the extent to which important sites in the Blue Mountains were damaged during the 2020 bushfires. The team of Traditional Custodians and academics to which Dr Wright belongs seeks to map and conserve threatened fire hit heritage. Finally, in Czech Republic, a long term project examines the arrival of Homo Sapiens in Europe and subsequent replacement of resident Neanderthal. Excavation of remarkable sites in Moravia has provided remarkable clues that Dr Wright hopes to bolster during upcoming fieldwork into Slovakia.



Artwork title: 'The Plain of Jars'

The Plain of Jars is inspired by Dr Dougald O’Reilly’s archaeological work at the mysterious Plain of Jars in Laos. In several talks with him, I had the opportunity to learn about his research and about the Plain of Jars site. I hadn’t previously heard of this place but was struck by the enigmatic nature of the monolithic jars scattered across the landscape, and thought charcoal would be the best medium to bring this place to life.

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The Plain of Jars is a UNESCO world heritage site, which contains over 2000 thousand large stone jars dating back to the Iron Age, spread out across several locations. Although it is unclear why these jars were created, human remains have been found in the jars, suggesting they were used for funerary practices. This artwork aims to raise awareness of the Plain of Jars and convey its beauty and mystery.

Artist: Duncan Currie

Duncan Currie grew up in Sydney and is currently studying a Bachelor of Design at ANU. Since childhood Duncan has always enjoyed drawing and being creative. He mainly works in charcoal, and loves creating detailed drawings which display the beauty of the world. In 2020, Duncan won the ANU Drawing Prize for a triptych of small charcoal studies of the interior of caves.


Dougald O'Reilly

Dougald is an Associate Professor in archaeology and has conducted research in Southeast Asia for two decades. He has held academic posts with UNESCO in Cambodia, the University of Sydney, Australia, Yale University and USA. He is widely published in academia with a book, Early Civilisations of Southeast Asia, and multiple journal articles and book chapters to his name. O’Reilly is the founder and Treasurer of Heritage Watch, an Non-governmental organization promoting heritage preservation in Cambodia operating since 2003. His archaeological research has focussed first on the Iron Age of Thailand and Cambodia and the rise of political complexity and currently he is researching the Plain of Jars in Laos.



Artwork title: 'In the Space of Translation'

In the Space of Translation aims to visualise the action of working together that is central to any creative collaboration. Over this project my conversations with Dr Maya Haviland made clear that in any attempt of co-creativity projects is the translation of, and between, culture, locations and time through acts of creative collaboration. Important to this translation is the development of relationships and promotions of shared understandings that foster the inclusion of a range of perspectives and cultural values. 


Samantha Corbett

Samantha Corbett is a visual artist based in Canberra. She is a recent graduate of the ANU in a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Painting) and Bachelor of Development Studies. Currently her practise is focused in painting and graphic design.  ​ In her most recent painting works she explores a mix of figuration and abstraction. Her style seeks to reflect on the connections and conflicts between humans, man made spaces and the natural environment.

Dr Maya Haviland

Maya Haviland

Maya Haviland is a researcher, arts and media maker, cultural producer, and parent, with a background in community based collaborative social research. She has lived and worked in a number of communities in Australia (including in the Kimberley region), Mexico, the USA and Vanuatu, facilitating collaborative research, art and documentary projects

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Recently she has co-curated two exhibitions of visual art and performance in Vanuatu in 2018 and 2020. She is currently an ANU Translational Fellow and a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at the ANU.

Maya describes her work in the following way: We tell our kids every day to collaborate and use their creativity to solve the challenges, big and small, that they encounter. In other words, to be co-creative with the people and world around them. Yet if we are honest most of our adult ways of working and organising, especially in our mainstream institutions and enterprises, aren’t designed to support collaboration or creativity across differences of culture, power or scale.

Co-creativity happens when people, organisations, and even non-human things like eco-systems or machines work together to make things they wouldn’t or couldn’t make on their own. What does it take to make co-creativity happen? What qualities and skills are important to foster and sustain co-creativity? And how do we embed and share these within, and between, the organisations, systems and institutions that shape and govern our world? My research is seeking to answer these questions by looking at real world dynamics of co-creativity in action in the overlapping fields of art, culture and education.



Artwork title: 'Ready Patient One'

How will you choose to play? Ready Patient One explores the work of Dr Mary Dahm. Part of Dr. Mary Dahm’s current research dissects the role of clinicians communicating uncertainty to patients, particularly in a diagnostic context. Dahm works with a collectivist passion and integrity as a “fly on the wall,” observing patient-clinician interactions and evaluating the role and impact of language within them.

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In presenting this interaction as a video game, this work contrasts the caution players take in making game-changing dialogue choices with the nonchalance everyday communication is often met with. You, the player, are given the responsibility of delivering a diagnosis you aren’t certain of. But like any good video game, the wrong answer doesn’t mean game over. In the same way, Dahm’s findings feed back directly to health staff as collaborative discussions on how these interactions can be improved to better prevent diagnostic error.  It has been a privilege to delve into a research field defined by how it can protect the lives of others, communicated through the ambition and fervour of Dr. Mary Dahm.

Artist: Marylouise Minehan

Marylouise Minehan is a third year student at the ANU, undergoing a double degree in Psychology and Visual Arts. In this Marylouise has explored her burgeoning artistic practice, primarily working with graphite, and dealing with drawing and realism. At times she incorporates mixed media to encourage a conjunction between conceptuality and technicality: to create art that can both be seen and looked into. She hopes in working this way that she can create art that reflects to the viewer the exact world the viewer can see, yet somehow uncovers something unseen within in.

Dr Mary Dahm

Dr Mary Dahm

Dr Mary Dahm is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Communication in Health Care (ICH) at the Australian National University. She is a Member of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), and a founding member of its Australian-New Zealand Affiliate (ANZA-SIDM). Mary is a linguist analysing how the little (or big) things we do (or don't do) with language impact on patient safety and quality of care.

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She has a keen interest in ’Communicating for Diagnostic Excellence’, improving the critical diagnostic conversations clinicians have with patients, from history taking to providing diagnosis, discussing risk and managing and communicating uncertainty. Mary's program of work is impactful, translational research at the nexus of applied linguistics and health communication. Her interdisciplinary collaborations involve clinicians across a range of care settings, health consumer representatives, and patients. She aims to identify communication and systemic issues to address barriers to improve diagnosis, patient safety and quality of care through innovative consumer-driven research in health communication. Mary is a Member of the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine (SIDM), and a founding member of its Australian-New Zealand Affiliate (ANZA-SIDM).

How clinicians communicate diagnosis – a linguistic analysis:

Each year more Australian die from diagnostic errors than on the road. The patient-centred definition of diagnostic error encompasses a failure to establish a timely explanation for a patient’s problem and failure to communicate that explanation to the patient. However, little is known from a linguistic perspective about how diagnostic statements are delivered to patients, i.e. how clinicians name, describe or explain the health problem to patients, and how these statements relate to diagnostic accuracy. If uncertain, clinicians are encouraged to share their working diagnosis and give an indication to their level of uncertainty. Research on the communication of diagnostic uncertainty is sparse. Most studies on the communication of diagnostic uncertainty are based on elicited data from surveys or interviews. Strategies for communicating diagnostic uncertainty in interactions with patients have not yet been systematically investigated using interactional data.

My research is dedicated to filling this knowledge gap. Preliminary results from my research showed that in role-play interactions where clinicians got the diagnosis wrong, they provided more evidence in their diagnostic statements than in interactions with correct diagnoses. This suggests that clinicians might seek to support uncertain diagnosis with evidence. Similarly, in interactions where clinician were incorrect in their diagnosis they used more indirect ways to express their uncertainty, often hesitating, stopping and starting sentences or using long statements to introduce their diagnosis. Such features were less common for interactions with the correct diagnosis. My research increases our understanding of the little thing clinicians often do when delivering uncertain diagnosis. This new knowledge can help us develop communication guidelines and strive for communication for diagnostic excellence.


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