To infinity and beyond: art therapy in palliative care

Palliative Care Australia (PCA) has announced the winners of the 2019 Dying to Talk Art Competition at a special exhibition at the 2019 Oceanic Palliative Care Conference in Perth.

This year’s theme “To Infinity and Beyond“, highlighted how palliative care is about living life to the full, right up until the end.

Artists were encouraged to consider beyond the limitations often placed on those living with life-limiting conditions, and focus on the potential opportunities for love, laugher, creativity and fulfilment.

The power of art therapy in helping people of all ages who have cancer, mental illness or who face other ongoing challenges is well documented.

PCA Board Chair Dr Jane Fischer said the Dying to Talk Art competition is just one of the many community engagement activities run by PCA that aim to get Australians thinking and talking about death and dying.

“This year’s competition saw record participation, with 138 entries received. We couldn’t be more thrilled with the overall quality of artworks and the many amazing interpretations of the theme.”

The 2019 winner was Iranian-born Perth artist Behzad Alipour, for his painting “In a blink of an eye”.

In presenting the awards, Dr Fischer highlighted the importance of embracing the arts as a valuable vehicle to engage and encourage Australians to open up about death, dying and end of life issues.

“I see huge potential for improving the community’s understanding of palliative care by collaborating with the arts. You only have to view the wonderful competition entries to see how powerful and personal art
can be, and how it makes you reflect on your own experiences.”

“Congratulations to all the winners, and thankyou to our wonderful judges and all those who got involved this year.”

2019 Dying to Talk Art Competition Award Winners

– 2019 Overall Winner: Behzad Alipour for his artwork titled “In a blink of an eye
– Young Artist Award: Sarah Hope for her artwork titled “Never Ending Purpose”
– Emerging Artist Award: Ruby Hennessy-Grant for her artwork titled “Roz”
– People’s Choice Award: Dani Till for her artwork titled “On Point”
– PCA Staff Choice: Carl Milton for his artwork titled “Stardust”

All of the 2019 Dying to Talk Art Competition entries can be viewed at

‘In a blink of an eye’ – Behzad Alipour
‘Stardust’ – Carl Milton
‘Ros’ – Ruby Hennessy-Grant

‘On Point’ – Dani Till
‘Never ending purpose’ – Sarah Hope


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