Art Pharmacy was invited by Health Infrastructure NSW to commission and curate a new art collection for Lismore Base Hospital’s nearly decade long refurbishment, inspired by an overarching curatorial narrative of ‘Sanctuary’.
With a primary objective to build an interesting and engaging art trail throughout the various levels of the hospital and implement a supporting Therapeutic Arts Program, Art Pharmacy interpreted the concept of sanctuary as a place that is nurturing, welcoming, and sustaining whilst also collectively built and integrated.
This art collection was to support the experience of all visitors, patients and staff of the hospital by enriching a sense of community, connection to Country from the entry all the way to the public and private hospital wards across three floors. The art in this collection was to be aligned with a typology of the local, familiar, and welcoming, to introduce an element of joy into a space so often associated with stress and anxiety, while inspiring passersby to calmness and introspection.
The nine artists, including three First Nations artists, were selected from a comprehensive Expression of Interest in collaboration with several local community groups such as Arts Northern Rivers, Elevator ARI and Southern Cross University (Lismore Campus). This EOI saw over 120 strong applications from artists based in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.
The final selection of artists brought to this art collection their familiarity with the local environment and community, celebrating and reflecting on the local landscape around the greater Lismore region.
The inception of this landmark art trail was complemented by a comprehensive art therapy kit for the hospital, including a series of thought-provoking conversation starters and therapeutic activities specific to the artworks, as well as arts and crafts activities aimed at Lismore Base Hospital’s aged care sector.
The final result was a series of thirty-six vibrant and dynamic, yet calming artworks that reflect upon nature, community art engagement, and sanctuary, that introduce welcoming pops of colour throughout Lismore Base Hospital.
Art Pharmacy hopes that this art collection will continue to punctuate the uniformity and necessary sterility of the hospital with refreshing, tranquil, and soothing images of the familiar outdoors, with more art activations and placemaking projects to come.
Read about the artists we worked with here.