Dip.VA., B.Ed., MAT., Grad Dip Theol., PhD.
Libby is an artist whose material practice explores theological questions and provokes wonder. Within the studio she seeks to discover ideas, images and experiences that will extend the way we think, perceive and respond to questions of meaning and existence. Libby’s growing body of research in the emerging field of Practice-led Theology flows from her experience as an exhibition. Her studio practice supports her capacity for creative engagement with people in a diverse range of therapeutic and pastoral care roles. She exhibits regularly in art galleries, healthcare and theological settings, thereby ensuring that her practice is positioned as a form of Public Theological inquiry.
For more than a decade, she has held an ongoing Academic Teaching and Research position with the Master of Art Therapy Program at La Trobe University. Prior to this, she worked as an art therapist with the Northern Centre Against Sexual Assault and in the Pastoral Care team at St Vincent’s Public Hospital, with a focus on Palliative Care. As a national priority for the Australian government, the use of the arts in healthcare is a growing area of research, with epidemiological evidence suggesting that engagement with the arts can have a sustained positive impact across one’s lifespan. In working with art and people, Libby’s art therapy practice is grounded in astute observation and rigorous research into the social, emotional and theological responses that address cultural trends in contemporary Australia. The breadth and depth of her professional engagement with theology and public health create both a strong knowledge base and broad professional networks to support the development of a coherent research agenda in line with emergent social trends. She has an exceptionally sophisticated set of interpersonal and communication skills which are essential for the development of a vital and relevant interdisciplinary research.
Libby’s PhD study was a Practice-led Theological inquiry into ‘Healing Art and the Art of Healing’ with a focus on her own experience of living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Her research is now internationally published across disciplines in journals which include: American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Journal of Patient Experience, Arts in Psychotherapy, Journal of Applied Art and Health, THEOLOGY, Practical Theology and the Journal of Disability and Religion. She holds international positions of leadership as a board member with the Journal of Applied Arts in Health and ARC I Art Religion Culture.
Libby’s research explores the art of deep listening, compassion and concern for the challenges faced by people she encounters in the nexus that exists between the disciplines of art, art therapy and theology. Her experience with interdisciplinary research in this area extends the boundaries of the way we think and respond to one another regarding issues that relate to human dignity, living and ageing well with both illness and health. Her research promotes interdisciplinary approaches to Art-based Practice-led research to resource and stimulate communities of faith as they seek to address intercultural and contextual issues in contemporary Australia.
Accredited teaching disciplines
- La Trobe University (Senior Lecturer)
- ANZACATA (Professional Member )
- ARC I Arts Religion Culture (Board Member)