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Commissioned through the Western Australian Government's Percent for Art Scheme for the South Metropolitan Area Health Service in 2013.

Deborah Bonar completed a series of four contemporary, acrylic paintings on Belgian linen, two of which measured 83 x 83 cm. The remaining two paintings measured 91 x 152 cm. The paintings illustrated the theme of Healing and Wellbeing and were titled: Ageing, Birth, Bush Medicine and Strong Women.

These paintings have been featured in a brochure to publicise the WA Government's Percent For Art Scheme.
Healing and Wellbeing SMHS brochure.pdf

public art and commissions | Title of artwork: Healing and Wellbeing

South Metropolitan Area Health Service - Percent for Art Project

These paintings are part of a series of works titled “Healing and Wellbeing”. For Aboriginal people, health includes the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of the whole community. Connection to country is very important and contributes to people's wellbeing and sense of identity. These paintings feature the lakes, rivers and wetlands, which add great beauty to the landscape. Water flows through the earth's veins and is essential for all life, people, animals and plants.


The grandmother gathers bark, dry wood and leaves to make a smoking ceremony for the baby. She digs a shallow pit for the fire so the heat is kept away from the child. She uses strong, firm massage strokes to coat the baby skin with the fragrant smoke. The smoking ceremony makes the baby strong and healthy. It also helps to heal a sick baby.

SMAHS Public Artwork, Birth



Elders keep our culture strong and pass on their wisdom and knowledge to their
families. Older people are valued and respected in Aboriginal communities.

SMAHS Public Artwork, Ageing



Bush Medicine
Local plants were used for bush medicine. The moist gum from Eucalyptus gum trees was applied to fresh wounds to slow bleeding, or diluted with water to make an antiseptic solution, or a mouthwash.

SMAHS Public Artwork, Bush Medicine



Strong Women
When a young woman is starting a family of her own, her mother and aunties give her help and advice on how to look after her own health when she is pregnant. They show her how to breastfeed and look after her baby when it is born, to keep it strong and healthy.

SMAHS Public Artwork, Strong Women