Centre for Health and Social Research

Dr Catherine Bell
School of Arts

Education and Arts


Relevant professional roles

  • Senior Lecturer, Visual Arts
  • St Vincent’s Hospital Caritas Christi Hospice Artist in Residence Program (2012-13)
  • St Vincent’s Hospital Caritas Christi Hospice Artist in Residence Program (2016-17)

Brief summary of experience
Catherine has a history of working in aged care and palliative care. Her socially-engaged art projects in healthcare settings complement her collaborative practice that forefronts a sense of ownership, empowerment and self-actualized learning. Catherine’s research in art activism and art on the margins has resulted in numerous collaborative art projects in community contexts. These projects advocate for artists using their skills to contribute to society and engaging communities of different ages, and diverse cultural backgrounds, in artistic creation.

Completed pastoral care research projects
More information about the studio-led research produced during this residency can be found HERE and HERE.

Current pastoral care research projects
Dr Catherine Bell has been recently awarded a $15,000 City of Melbourne Grant. This funding will support a community engagement project she will facilitate as part of a 2016-17 artist residency at St Vincent’s Hospital. The collaborative artworks, co-created with medical professionals, will elicit dialogue about how objects and images impact on people’s ideas about death. The creative outcome will be exhibited at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 2017.

Example research publications

  1. 2015 Catherine Bell, “Artists as Undertaker: Heavy Petals and Community Art at Caritas Christi Hospice, Melbourne”, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Arts Therapy, Vol. 10 Number 1. pp 43-58 2015
  2. 2014 Catherine Bell, “Add water when dry: Resurrecting bouquets as corporeal relics, melancholic rituals and community engagement at Caritas Christi Hospice” in Exploring Bodies in Time and Space, Inter-Disciplinary Press: Oxford, United Kingdom, 2014, pp 227-235

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