The Art of Healing: Creation story

The Art of Healing: Creation story
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that the following program may contain images and/or audio of deceased persons
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Agnes Palmer, or Lyaakiye as she is also known, sits facing camera. Agnes is an Arrernte and Kngwarraye woman. Agnes talks about being raised in the mission. Agnes is struck by the bareness of the white walls of the church and has an idea to paint the story of what God did during the Dreaming. Summary by Romaine Moreton.

Agnes Palmer, or Lyaakiye, talks about the experience of growing up on the mission, a time during which the influence of the old people or the Aboriginal elders was still current. The idea of painting the Christian creation story by using Indigenous characters and story is a fusion of these two concepts.


The Art of Healing synopsis

A documentary about an Arrernte woman Agnes Palmer, and her vision of painting the walls of the Santa Teresa church in Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa), an Aboriginal community one hour south of Alice Springs.

The Art of Healing is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours’ in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.


The Art of Healing curator's notes

A beautifully told story about the vision of Arrernte woman Agnes Palmer, and how her vision of telling the biblical story with Aboriginal characters became a reality. The film itself tells of the interpretation of a traditional Western text (the Bible) through Indigenous expression. It is expressed in filmic terms through the fusion of colours, shapes and texture in that the Aboriginal artists directly inspired by their environment literally use Western space (the church) as the canvas and through their interpretation bring the Dreaming alive through the telling of biblical stories.

Notes by Romaine Moreton

Production company:
CAAMA Productions
Executive Producer:
Jacqui North
Series producer:
Rachel Clements
Robyn Nardoo
Robyn Nardoo