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Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease


The impact of cancer on our contemporary lives

Start Date

Feb 20, 2016

End Date

Apr 15, 2016


Academy Gallery, Inveresk

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GALLERY HOURS: Monday - Friday 9AM - 5PM Free Admission

Navigating the internal landscape 

Exhibition opening: 2pm – 4pm Saturday 20 February 2016
Exhibition artists: Simon Ancher, Katie Ashton, Lauren Black, Nikola Bowden, Susan Collins, Scott Cunningham, Joanna Gair, Sue Henderson, Wayne Hudson, Chris Jackson, Samuel Johnstone, Michael Kay, Megan Keating, Kim Lehman, Robert Lewis, Stephen Loo, Penny Mason, Anne Morrison, Amelia Rowe, Troy Ruffels, Danielle Thompson, John Vella, Ricardo Vilain, Shaun Wilson, Kit Wise

Inter Disciplinary Curatorial Team: Dr Malcom Bywaters (Tasmanian College of the Arts), Dr Raj Eri (School of Health Sciences), Dr Tony Huang (School of Engineering), Dr Kim Lehman (Tasmanian School of Business and Economics) and Dr Frances Fan (Faculty of Education)

Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease will investigate the impact of cancer on our contemporary lives. The human body has approximately 100,000 billion cells, which are the body's basic building blocks. We begin from a single fertilised egg, and our bodies constantly make new cells to help us grow, to replace worn out cells and to heal damaged cells after injury. Normally cells grow and multiply in a controlled way, however, if something causes a mistake to occur in the cells' genetic blueprints, this control can be lost.

Cancer is a disease of the body's cells and is the term used to describe collections of these cells, growing and potentially spreading within the body. As cancerous cells can arise from almost any type of tissue cell, cancer actually refers to about 100 different diseases which have their own pattern of growth and spread.

We do not know all of the risks and causes of cancer. However, there are a number of chemical, physical and biological agents that have been shown to trigger the mistakes in the cell blueprint that cause cancer. These are called carcinogens and include tobacco, ultraviolet radiation and asbestos but not all cancers are associated with known risk factors and cancer can sometimes develop without any specific causes.

Cancer can happen within any part of the body. In Australia, the most common diagnosed cancers are that of prostate, colorectal, breast, melanoma and lung. Cancer can grow rapidly, sometimes spreading from the primary local organ and dispersing to the other parts of the body. Such a stage is called metastasis.

Cancer affects people in many different ways; physically such as fatigue, nausea and pain, emotionally by having an effect on relationships, working life and increasing stress for some people and added financial impact.

Scientists are developing many new therapies to deal with cancer but it is a long way from being fully understood and treated. The true fear with illness and cancer is the unknown.

Our exhibition will, by creative expression, explore and suggest new ways in which to understand cancer. The exhibition includes paintings, sculpture, photography, furniture, craft, video and mixed media. Themes investigated consider the beginnings of cancerous growth; diagnosis and biopsy; the invasion of malignant and benign tumours; the fear of pain and disease and how this can prevent early intervention such as having a mammogram; what is it like to live with an illness combined with the prohibitive effect of gaining access to expensive medication and the significant impact upon a person's life, family, friend's and loved ones.

Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease will through artistic visualization contribute toward the greater discussion, led by academic research, for the community to do more to understand cancer; increase the awareness and importance of preventative strategies and improve patient outcomes.

The Curatorial Team would like to acknowledge the support of an Art Business Law (ABL) HUB Inter Disciplinary Grant, aimed at exploring the opportunities of combining the visual arts and sciences as a creative tool for academic research.

Navigating the internal landscape: an artistic interpretation of disease is presented in partnership with Cancer Council – Tasmania as part of the Academy Gallery Active Research Program. The Academy Gallery Active Research Program aims to exhibit the research undertaken by the University of Tasmania as a global educational provider.

Dr Malcom Bywaters
Research Project Leader

*Please note that this exhibition displays real human tissue obtained from post-mortems and organs removed surgically. Some individuals, children and cultural groups may be sensitive to such material. Please consider this before you enter. The specimens are on loan from the University of Tasmania Human Health and Disease Learning Centre, incorporating the R.A. Rodda Museum of Pathology, Hobart.

*Supported by Cancer Council Tasmania
Minimising the incidence and impact of cancer on all Tasmanians.

Please note Dr Susan Collins, Senior Lecturer, Coordinator of Strings, Coordinator of Orchestral Music Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania will perform Bach's Chaconne at 2.15pm, Saturday 20 February. This special performance by one of Australia's leading violinists will celebrate the power of music to assist with healing and well being.

RSVP by Thursday 18 February to

Academy Gallery
Tasmanian College of the Arts
Academy of the Arts, Inveresk, Launceston
University of Tasmania

Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm
Free Admission