Artists’ wellbeing: Sustaining artists working with trauma impacted communities

When artist’s are called upon to work in remote or trauma affected communities, the impacts can be intense, usually without access to the psychological services available to other support agencies. So how do artist’s find the balance between dealing with a community’s trauma and their own self-care?

In this episode of Creative Responders, Scotia Monkivitch takes listeners into the beautiful Jarrah Karri Marri forest in Western Australia, walking among striking charcoal sculptures with Fiona Sinclair, manager of the Understory Art and Nature Trail.

We also speak to seasoned arts worker Karen Hethey and psychologist Shona Erskine to ask the question – what can artist’s do for themselves, but also, what structural changes do we need to see in the sector to make practice safer for artists and community cultural development workers?


Fiona Sinclair, Instigator and Manager of the Understory Art and Nature Trail  

Karen Hethey, an artist working with community whose practice draws on a professional background in puppetry arts, performance making, intercultural community arts and applied Anthropology

Doctor Shona Erskine, a registered psychologist and consultant who works closely with organisations and artists, coaching to build resilience and to enhance performance

WA Making Time: Artist Self-care Retreat participants – Jodie Davidson and Julian Canny

Production Credits:

Produced in association with Audiocraft with Executive Producer, Jess O’Callaghan, Producer, Selena Shannon and Creative Recovery Network Project Manager, Jill Robson. Sound Engineer is Tiffany Dimmack.


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