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"A world turned topsy turvy"

"COVID-19 has demanded we keep perspective"

"The acid test of 21st century health systems"

"A time to remember rather one to forget"


Making meaning through art

COVID-19, for many of us, has been one of the most disruptive experiences we have lived through. It has brought our understandings of health under the microscope, both literally and metaphorically. We've had to consider self-care, collective care, and what systems of care can and can't do. We've looked at science and rallied together to cross boundaries.


This artwork is an interactive digital drawing.


It is a response to our experiences of COVID-19 through the lens of people who have led major health networks. COVID-19 turned our world topsy turvy. Some of us went into overdrive at the frontlines. Technologies have been embraced that alter the way we connect. It has been a mixed bag of new found freedoms, isolation, uncertainties and re-valuing what is important. We've turned to nature, furry friends, family, exercise, and creative pursuits for nourishment. For each of us the collage is different. 

A Unique Collaboration

This work has been created through a unique collaboration within Maridulu Budyari Gumal SPHERE (Sydney Partnership in Health Education, Research and Enterprise), where art and making meaning come together. SPHERE aims to do health better by bringing together clinicians, health consumers, carers and researchers.


To create Topsy Turvy, leaders of this network shared images, songs, and reflections on working at various interfaces of the health care system. Their responses were a rich mix that encompassed gratitude and respect for those they work with, while recognising the amplified value of research and technology. At the same time the accounts were personal, poetic, artistic, humorous and serious and sought transcending themes in mythology. They all embraced an ethic of care and our interdependencies as we navigate a shared space for health.

The Exhibition 

The artwork reveals these stories while tapping into the surreal timbre of the times that are equally diverse, personal and varied in composition. And, just as COVID-19 has spanned physical and digital space, this artwork can be experienced across different modes of engagement. We will launch with an interactive web exhibition where viewers can create their own visual story, with an option to share via our social media gallery. When we can meet publicly, the exhibition can be experienced as an immersive 360 surround digital screening (at the UTS Data Arena), which may be arranged by viewers to reflect their own experiences.


Inspired by the submissions of the health sector leaders, this artwork has been collectively realised by visual artist Dr Anton Pulvirenti, poetic writer and performer Peter Maple, and sound and interaction designer Annie Mckinnon, in collaboration with Dr Barbara Doran (Creative Direction and Curation). The exhibition represents one of a series of arts-based projects of the SPHERE Consumer and Community Involvement and Knowledge Translation Strategic Platform, led by Prof Katherine Boydell, A/Prof Ann Dadich and the generous contributions of members of the SPHERE Council.

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