Welcome to Country artwork will greet visitors to WA’s new hospital

Posted: September 14th, 2011

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Artists Wendy Hayden and Deborah Bonar

YMAC is pleased to learn that huge pieces of Aboriginal artwork have been comissioned for the new Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth. Aboriginal artists Ella Taylor (Kidja Heritage), Wendy Hayden (Nyoongar Heritage) and Deborah Bonar (Gija and Yamatji) have developed the sixteen metres of artwork on glass and a huge canvas in colaboration with the owner of the Kidogo Institute of Art, Joanna Robertson.

The artwork features representations of each of the five main regions of WA. “We wanted Aboriginal patients and visitors from anywhere in Australia to feel more comfortable when they come to the hospital,” explained Deborah Bonar.

“We felt as soon as they see the grasses and recognise the Aboriginal style of artwork, their first impression will be that they are in a place with familiar elements, in a place sympathetic to Aboriginal people, that respects Aboriginal values and connection to country and in turn will make them more comfortable and feel welcomed.”

Ms. Bonar has also been selected by the Revealed ArtWorker Program as one of three artists who will curate the art exhibition during CHOGM.

The Fiona Stanley Hospital is due to open in 2014, and the Welcome to Country artwork will acknowledge the Traditional Owners and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of WA’s Indigenous people.