The Healing Power of Art

23 January 2024
Kathy and Caroline

These remarkable individuals have been instrumental in curating and showcasing over 1,000 artworks throughout the hospital, creating an environment that fosters healing through artistic expression.

Caroline White and Kathy Praine, the dynamic duo behind this transformative initiative, believe that art plays a profound role in enhancing the well-being of patients.

Their dedication to the careful cultivation and displays of a diverse range of artworks goes beyond aesthetics, aiming to harness the therapeutic potential of artistic engagement.

Numerous studies have highlighted the positive impact of exposure to art on individuals with dementia, citing benefits such as memory stimulation, language expansion, and improved social connections

Kathy Praine notes, “We regularly see patients stopping to admire the art and having conversations with their family or care team, demonstrating the tangible impact of art on their overall experience within the hospital.”

Recent research from the Pederson Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University further emphasises the broader applications of art in healthcare treatments, particularly in addressing conditions such as dementia and trauma. (Source: How Art Can Heal The Brain,

The Wesley Hospital takes pride in its impressive art collection, which includes original paintings, prints, drawings, photographs, and more.

Contributed by a diverse array of artists, the collection features work from Australian, International, Indigenous, and even a local kindergarten in Morningside.

Caroline White said, “We are fortunate enough to have beautiful artworks donated, loaned or purchased for the hospital. This means that each piece has a unique backstory and important meaning behind it.”

Notably, members of the hospital staff, including Palliative Care Physician Dr Ralph McConaghy, have also generously showcased their artistic talents, contributing to the unique and enriching atmosphere within the hospital.

Kathy and Caroline, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, play a pivotal role in ensuring the accessibility of these artworks to all within the hospital.

By strategically placing and rotating the collections, they aim to create an inclusive space where everyone can appreciate the beauty and therapeutic benefits of these remarkable works.

The Wesley Hospital acknowledges the invaluable contributions of all its volunteers and extends special recognition to Kathy Praine and Caroline White for their outstanding commitment to integrating art into the healing journey of patients.

Their dedication not only enhances the physical environment of the hospital but also contributes significantly to the holistic well-being of those under its care.

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