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Artist unites hepatitis B community

Posted 15 September, 2020
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We are incredibly thrilled to reveal a new art piece created by acclaimed artist Joe Malone (pictured right) for Hepatitis Queensland’s latest project. 

The artwork was commissioned as part of our hepatitis B project and signifies the many individuals, communities and health services working together to target hepatitis B.

Joe, who runs Jagalingu Aboriginal Creations, has provided a detailed description of the many elements that make up the art piece:

“Hep B is a health condition that requires a united approach. It involves individuals, communities, and health services working together and this art piece captures these elements.

The small circles, lines and crosshatching represent the song lines and story lines urging communities to attend their local Aboriginal Medical Service to yarn about, be tested, be vaccinated, or have a checkup for hep B. The footprints represent the travelling to and from these health services.

The larger circles represent the Aboriginal Medical Services where people have journeyed to and from. These circles include the symbols for male and female to represent both the community members and the staff working in these services. A liver has also been included in the centre of each circle as hep B impacts our liver health. The Hepatitis Queensland staff are the crosshatched symbols sitting in these circles yarning with community and educating them about hep B and liver health.

At the centre of the painting is the Hep B Family Tree which is a visual tool used for hep B education, with the branches reminding us to:

  • B Tested
  • B Vaccinated
  • B Checked
  • B United

Sitting around the Hep B Family Tree are figures to represent the individuals in the community who may be at more risk of hep B. These are young people aged 15-25 years, men and women 50 years and over, as well as mum’s with hep B and their bubs.”

Joe Malone is a descendant of the Kangoulu and Jagalingu people from the Central Western region of Queensland. Joe is the owner of Jagalingu Aboriginal Creations which was established in 1992 creating and producing high quality Aboriginal artefacts, paintings, and other products.

Joe had the great fortune of being mentored in his craft by Joe Skeen Senior, a KuKu – Thaypan elder, and a third-generation Aboriginal artefact maker in 1988. The skills that were instilled in Joe included creating and painting traditional Aboriginal artefacts, along with a strong work ethic and a sense of the importance of why Aboriginal people need to continue their own cultural. This mentorship and inspiration continues to this day.


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