South Metropolitan Area Health Service - Percent for Art Project - Healing and Wellbeing

This series of paintings titled Healing and Wellbeing illustrates the link between health and the social, emotional and cultural wellbeing of Aboriginal people. Deborah Bonar completed this project in 2014.

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


acrylic on Belgian linen, 83 x 83cm


The story

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.


acrylic on Belgian linen, 83 x 83cm


The story

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

Bush Medicine

acrylic on Belgian linen, 91 x 152cm


The story

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.

Strong Women

acrylic on Belgian linen, 91 x 152cm


The story

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.


Deborah Bonar operates Scribblebark Design from her home art studio. She is an award winning Perth based artist with Gija and Yamatji heritage who specialises in vibrant acrylic and ochre paintings.



P: 0417 999 947
Scribblebark Design
Perth, Western Australia


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