Member Profile : Donna McDonald

I am an art therapist, creative arts-disability studies lecturer & researcher and late-emerging artist. 

I’ve used my creative energies as a social worker, government policy advisor, university academic, scholar, writer, and more recently as an artist and arts psychotherapist to explore and bear witness to what I’ve experienced, seen and learned in the areas of health, disability, housing, community and environmental wellbeing, arts and culture.

Recent highlights include:

  • teaching at Griffith University (2011-2016) and Ikon Institute of Australia (2019 – current)
  • researching in the fields of disability studies and arts psychotherapy. In September 2019, I presented a paper at the ANZACATA Symposium on the intersections between the NDIS, disability rights and arts therapy. In December 2019, I presented a paper, The Contemplative Consolations of Sorrow, at the AAANZ Conference in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • co-editing (with Bree Hadley, QUT) The Routledge Handbook of Disability Arts, Culture and Media (2018).
  • participating in a 5-minute documentary, Donna, (2017) by award-winning producer Jaina Kalifa, in which I share personal stories through a series of artworks about my life. Its screenings & awards include: Winner Most Outstanding Documentary, Master Showcase, Griffith Film School. In Official Selection for Focus on Ability Short Film Festival and Heart of Gold International Film Festival.

My publications include my memoir of grief, 'Jack's Story', following my infant son's sudden death in 1987, and essays such as 'I Hear with my Eyes' (Griffith Review 2006), 'The Reluctant Memoirist' (Griffith Review 2011) and 'When Time Stops: The Courage for Joy' (Stories of Complicated Grief: a critical anthology 2014). My book, 'The Art of Being Deaf: a memoir', was published by Gallaudet University Press: Washington DC. March 2014. 

My art works include a series of drawings, 'Talking back to Diane Arbus' in two art exhibitions - 'The 5 FIVE Show: Queensland Artists Thinking' (Logan West Library, Artist's Walk) and 'The 5 FIVE Show: 4 + 1 Artists Exploring' (Woolloongabba Art Gallery, www.wag.com.au ). In 2017, I exhibited in 'Everywhere World' at the Woolloongabba Gallery Upstairs. 

I live and work in Turrbal Jagerra country.

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Arts Front Leadership Group

A leadership group supporting the Art Front project.

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A leadership group supporting the Art Front project.

Little Lunch Online (LLOL) is a daily online meet up and creative exchange to support the Australian arts sector during the Corona Virus pandemic. 

Mar 23 2020 To Sep 30 2020