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Artist Robyn Caughlan
Medium Terrazzo Floor
Fabrication Laing O’Rourke and specialist contractors
In 15th century Venice, the Italians invented terrazzo floors as a way of using up left over marble chips. They mixed the chips with cement, creating durable and artistic floors for palaces, villas and temples.
The terrazzo floor for the Community Gathering Place was designed by Aboriginal artist Robyn Caughlan and fabricated by Laing O’Rouke using traditional terrazzo techniques.
Robyn designed a set of intertwining lines and circles that represent the strong connections that give rise to healthy and harmonious communities. She hopes that as people walk over the terrazzo circles of peace they will reflect on the true meaning of peace and harmony.
Robyn is a local artist, born in Westmead in 1950. She draws upon her wealth of experience to create strong and expressive works in a range of media, including painting, textile design and literature.
Robyn’s work has been displayed in many national and international exhibitions. She is represented in numerous private and public collections including at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, the Powerhouse Museum,
the National Maritime Museum in Australia and Kerava Art Museum in Helsinki, Finland.
“I am Robyn Caughlan from the Darug and Darkinjung lineage and I am proud of it. My art started to fill a void in me that I thought would never be filled. Apart from my three children, finding out I am of Aboriginal descent at the age of 30 from my real mother, was a major turning point in my life. I lost my father at five and three months later I was sent on a two-week holiday, never to return. So once again I lost a mother, sister and four brothers, which added to my loss of identity. It took me many years to recover from that.
I had the most wonderful foster parents and sister but it is like you have had a huge chunk of your heart ripped out and it leaves a void that takes many years to heal.
At the age of 30 I discovered art. Art became a passion of mine and honestly saved my life. It is an expression of oneself. We should never be afraid to put our true feelings on canvas. Artists are the keepers of history. We are all storytellers.
There are many facets of my art that I use for creative expression – visual art, textiles, fashion, ceramics and author. I began to enjoy the freedom and style that I call my own and this is based on my personal interpretation. My style also allows the contemporary Aboriginal artist to go beyond in many ways. We are many cultures but we are one. If the world realised this, we could all live in peace and harmony.
Being a cancer survivor, I understand how important is for a hospital to have areas where we can rest, meet friends or families, or just appreciate the arts. I am proud of being part of BMDH Arts and Culture”