Dr. Levine is a nationally recognized expert in wound care and pressure ulceration. and has published and spoken widely on this topic. He is a Board Member of the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP). Dr. Levine's Pocket Guide to Pressure Ulcers co-authored by Elizabeth Ayello RN and published by the New Jersey Hospital Association is in its 4th printing and has sold over 30,000 copies.

Jeffrey Levine MD photo photograph wound care pressure ulcer geriatrics expert

This past fall I exhibited my photographs of aging at the International Arts and Health Conference in Port Macquarie, Australia.  There I had an opportunity to experience Aboriginal art, and was captivated by its boldness and spirituality.  Native Australians have a complex cultural tradition with music, song, dance and visual imagery.  They are deeply spiritual, and believe that animal spirits inhabit the forest and nature.  Art is a central component of traditional Aboriginal culture, ensuring continuity with the past and communicating with the spirit world. 

Dr. Jeffrey Levine physician artist photographerWhile in Port Macquarie, I met Aboriginal artists Isabell and Frank Moran from the Donghutti Tribe in New South Wales.  They had an amazing array of paintings with a primitive, abstract, and intense aura.  Subjects included lizards, snakes, butterflies, kangaroos and other animals of the Australian bush.  The style was called “dot painting,” which used acrylic on canvas using earth tones of ochre and yellow, and have their origin in sand painting using stones, seeds, and feathers – artistic techniques used by ancestral clans as they moved from place to place. 

In the photo above, Isabell is showing me a painting of a swamp wallabee – a small marsupial which inhabits undergrowth in forests and woodlands.  I learned from Isabell that this was a wood-spirit known for kindness.  In Aboriginal religion, animals are inhabited by spirits of people who have died.  Isabell explained the symbolism in the painting, including kangaroo tracks and watering holes.  The depictions of animals often show an “x-ray view,” with bones, eggs, and digestive organs – a style thought to be 4000 years old.  I photographed the wallabee at right in a preserve near the outskirts of Port Macquerie. 

A central concept binding Aboriginal culture is that of reciprocity and mutual obligation, which mandates that resources be shared, and those who receive have the obligation to share with others.  I bought this painting and Isabell said to me “Take good care of our spirit, if you do that it will take care of you.”  

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For a related post go to:   Nursing Home Care in Australia

For more information on Aboriginal art and culture click here

For more information on the artists in this post click here

To visit Dr. Jeff Levine’s on-line portfolio click here



  • Barbara Weir
    11/16/2010, 7:28 am  Reply

    I’m too the Australian, Sydney artist and always remain passionate to learn about the Art especially the Aboriginal Art. Yeah you right you can explain and observe too much with the Art which is not easy with the tongue some time. Art is the way to put light on the latest issue and to encourage the people. Art can play a vital role in expressing the feelings, passion and plenty of things.

    • 11/17/2010, 3:14 pm

      Thanks for your comment Barbara. Australian Aboriginal art is indeed some of the most expressive and interestingly abstract, and culturally meaningful art I have viewed.

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Dr. Jeffrey M. Levine has authored numerous articles on topics related to healthcare of the elderly. These include medical history, prevention and treatment of chronic wounds such as pressure ulcers, elder neglect and abuse, and physical restraints. He has also edited a book on legal and regulatory aspects of nursing homes.