Ali Bezer - inaugural Artist-in-Residence at St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital

Ali Bezer has begun an eight-week residency as a Research Fellow at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital (SAWMH), Spring Hill. She was recently awarded her PhD from QCA.

Dr Philip Hall, St Andrew’s Honorary Art Curator and consultant gynaecologist, encouraged QCA to establish the residency following the success of the St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital Art Prize over a five year period from 2011-2015. Ali Bezer was the inaugural winner of the Prize which is for QCA Honours students: she is now the first resident artist.

Ali’s residency was announced on 6 October at the opening of a retrospective show highlighting works from all five winners of the SAWMH Art Prize. The opening was attended by previous winners Mika Nakamura-Mather (2012) and Robert Andrew (2013), as well as SAWMH General Manager Andrew Barron and QCA Senior Lecturer Dr Susan Ostling. Together with staff from Griffith’s Development and Alumni Office, Susan has played a key role in liaising with St Andrew’s to manage the Prize since its inception.

QCA Director Professor Derrick Cherrie spoke about the importance of the relationship with the hospital at the opening. In his catalogue introduction, he said:

“The extent to which St Andrew’s has sought to incorporate art into the surroundings and working context of a hospital is extraordinary. The artistic collaboration between QCA and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital recognises the correlation between art and human well-being.”

Ali’s practice is centred on interpreting sound-related sensations and concepts into visual forms. She has set up a studio in the “Sewing Room” which the hospital has made available for the duration of the residency. The residency gives both St Andrew’s and QCA the opportunity to take a new and exciting direction in a relationship which has brought insights and fresh perspectives to both partners.