Welcoming a new decade, 2020 is a year nobody would have predicted, with the impactful consequence of the COVID-19 global pandemic, especially on our health professions community. It was with great sadness that we learned that our annual ANZAHPE 2020 Vision for Learning Cultures conference would no longer proceed. The launch of this exhibition, 12 July 2020, marks the date we would be packing bags, boarding flights, making last minute changes or nervously practising our oral presentation in front of the hotel bathroom mirror.
For the first time, we called for submissions for the Way of Seeing in Healthcare exhibition which aimed to promote different ways of knowing, and challenge presiding ‘knowledge’ in health care that privileges certainty, science and individualism. We wanted to widen the lens, to provoke, challenge and inspire us to think more deeply about learning cultures through showcasing the creative talents of our health professions education community, including educators, researchers, clinicians and students.
You heard the call and we were delighted to receive and now share with you a selection of creative works. From paintings, photographic montages, poetry, sculpture, MRI art and film, that all beautifully captures the unique aesthetics of what it means to be a health professional.
One of my favourite Educational philosophers John Dewey described Art as Experience:
“Art sensitively shapes our experiences of the world by evoking new possibility. If art just simply conveyed what is customary and familiar, there would be little tendency to reflect. The power of works of art is that they are means by which we enter, through imagination and the emotions they evoke, into other forms of relationship and participation than our own” (Dewey, 2005).
We hope this book creates a space for you to connect with each other, find resonance with the unique artistry of your colleagues and learn how they integrate humanities-based pedagogies to foster empathy and reflection in both themselves and their students. From these pages, it is clear that health humanities are of growing interest and presents an exciting opportunity to introduce a new way of seeing that intersects with our personal and professional experiences of health professions education and practice.
Associate Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery, Monash University
We thank and acknowledge the support of Monash University for the production of the Ways of Seeing exhibition booklet