Westmead Redevelopment Project Artworks

New Artworks for Westmead Hospital Redevelopment

The River

Work by Danie Mellor
Infrared photography Parramatta River, manipulated images fabricated in Laminex Fusion
Location Main Entry
Size 60 meters

Concept for the front entry wall

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project


Gumadagu Gurang

Place of the Ancestors

Main entry, soffit under the Innovation Center

Gumadagu Gurang is a project that celebrates place and the Aboriginal knowledge of the night sky

Artwork by a group of Darug Elders and artists Aunty Edna Watson, Leanne Watson, Leanne Tobin, Rhiannon Wright, Shay Tobin.

For Aboriginal people throughout Australia, the sky and the earth are intricately linked and have provided for thousands of years the guiding maps that allow seasonal safe travel across country for thousands of years. When looking up at the night sky, our Old People would read the stars to navigate the land when travelling for ceremony and trading. From the moving constellations, they also gleaned knowledge about seasonal changes back on country. This ancient knowledge ensured their long-term survival and was passed on throughout the generations.

The Dharug people from the Greater Sydney region shared night sky stories with many other Aboriginal nations and some of the star stories such as the Seven Sisters story (Pleiades constellation) have songlines that are shared right across Australia and beyond. ‘Gumadagu Gurang-Home of the Ancestors’ depicts known Dharug beliefs and stories of the night sky. The stars are the twinkling of the various campfires of the Ancestors as they go about their daily lives - a reflection of life on earth.

The ‘Sky Country’ was the Spirit world for our old people and was believed to be home to our spirit; the dwelling place of our ancestors as well as the children yet to be born. The Creator Sky Spirit is said to live there; coming down to give us laws and teachings before returning to the Sky Country where he looks over us.

Creation Stories are held there in the sky. The movements and the cycles of the heavenly bodies acted as indicators for food cycles and times of ceremony. The artwork was created to show our peoples’ understanding of the Sky Country as the Spirit world ever present, awe-inspiring and connecting us here on earth to our Ancestors and the old stories of how we came to being.

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project


The art work ready for creating the final fabricated work


Tree Full of Life

Maria Fernanda Cardoso

Drawing reproduced in metal

Location Foyer Atrium Main Entry

13.5 meter high work fabrication by Specialbuild

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project

Memory Vessels


Heidi Axelsen, Hugo Moline, Jamie Eastwood and Dean Kelly

The starting point for Memory Vessel is the Nawi, the predominant form of watercraft transport throughout the harbour, rivers and creeks used by the people of Greater Sydney. For this project a set of Nawi were made again in the same way they always have been, using bark of the gum tree, the same tree whose leaves are used in the ceremonial smoking pit nearby.

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project


Jamie Eastwood giving an explanation of the meaning of the canoe materials


Nicole Monks

Metal and Wood

Mudinga, captures the moment a spear hits the water creating the sense you're in the water as the spear bursts through the surface, generating a ripple effect and sending fish scurryin.

Level 1 Cultural Gathering Place Garden

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project



Fluid Regeneration: Parramatta Wanderings

Antoina Aitken

Original artwork ink and watercolour on paper 2019
Enlarged from original and digital printed on to wall vinyl
The works are in various lounges and waiting rooms across 7 Levels of the new Westmead Hospital CSB Building

Commissioned by HARC for the Westmead Hospital Redevelopment Project


Parramatta Wanderings: Paperbark 1
Standing strong on the Paramatta river lands, the ancient paperbarks have witnessed great change. As a child I would peel pieces of bark from the trunk and brush the velvet skin against my cheek. I wanted to capture the flow and caress of the river through the movement of paperbark leaves. Many species of the Myrtaceae family have important material and medicinal properties. The local Darug and Dharawal communities use the prickly-leaved paperbark (Melaleuca styphelioides) for its antiseptic oils to treat colds, flu and infections

Sky Portal, Tree Portal, Water Portal - Intensive Care Service

Reverse Print Acrylic


"Letting go was raised time and again and with it a range of images from nature that brought comfort. The need for nature, natural light and air release of energy physically and emotionally was high."

The arts lab has provided an opportunity for me to be witness first-hand the needs of both staff and client of the hospital and in particular the Intensive Care Services. The workshops and conversations were also scheduled in tandem with unit-based Counsellor and Psychotherapist Natalie Harman In an environment that is saturated with stress and trauma the remarkable staff visioned and discussed the various ways their patients, clients and selves release stress and worked to remain calm and mindful.

Letting go was raised time and again and with it a range of images from nature that brought comfort. The need for nature, natural light and air release of energy physically and emotionally was high. The artmaking conversations and gentle mindfulness sessions we ran highlighted how simple the actions for release can be and yet simultaneously challenging for the superhuman effort required to pause and be mentally still in such an environment. The value of the residency was to meet and build working relationships inspiration and research with professionals in the hospital.

The new works were researched and developed as party of the arts lab residency. This involved focus group and a series of meetings discussions meditations and art making.
These initial works were developed initially for the families of those in intensive care. The images and themes were further developed with the input of the staff. In late 2019 in tandem with staff counsellor I set up a workspace in the ICU to discuss and research the realties for patients, their families and staff.

The works seek to create both warmth and comfort in Hospital spaces and a visual reminder of the connection to culture, family and community. The consultative aspect of the design process served to embed cultural motifs and shared values that can travel across cultural groups. The circular designs reflect the idea that life is never ending, and everything is connected The form also relates to the vessel, bowl or plate a form that serves us from the domestic to the highly ritualised events in our world. The portal forms emerge from the Mandala - Sanskrit for sacred circle evoking meditative and healing energies a symbol of the underlying connectedness of nature and a focal point for calm.



A Sense of Place

View the images selected for exhibition and for final judging of the winner of the competition here The selected works are to be installed in the new Westmead Hospital Building in 2020

A Sense of Place

A Sense of Place Photo book now available for purchase from the Westmead Hospital Foundation web site here

Thursday, 09. December 2021 09:37:04 PM

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