Hospitals 09 April 2024

Art in new Footscray Hospital to celebrate local history

A tapestry inspired by the nature and history of Melbourne's west will be one of the public artworks to take pride of place in the new Footscray Hospital.

First Nations artists from west Melbourne, Maree Clarke and Mitch Mahoney, have been commissioned to design the 4.2-metre-high tapestry.

Maree is a Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung artist and designer, and Mitch is a young Boonwurrung/Barkindji artist and cultural educator.

Their design will draw inspiration from the native flora and fauna along the Maribyrnong River and local area. The piece will be hand-woven by a team at the internationally-renowned Australian Tapestry Workshop.

Once finished, the tapestry will hang suspended in the new hospital’s entrance. It will be visible from every angle, welcoming patients, visitors and staff.

The tapestry is one of many public art opportunities being commissioned for the new Footscray Hospital.

Under the theme ‘Journey to Footscray’, one artist’s work will be featured on recessed wall panels inside the hospital showcasing local stories of migration.

Fostering wellbeing through public art

The hospital will also feature:

  • nature sound art
  • digital art
  • community-led art
  • heritage storytelling
  • First Nations landscaping.

Artwork in the new Footscray Hospital is being guided by the theme ‘Of Place’, or the healing power of place. The artwork will celebrate all that makes the western suburbs so special. The theme fits into the hospital’s overall design approach – to create a restorative and connected environment.

The commissions are being led by Plenary Health in partnership with Footscray Community Arts, and in collaboration with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Western Health.

Your new Footscray Hospital

Construction of the $1.5 billion new Footscray Hospital is continuing. The internal fit-out is well underway across 13 levels, and the external façade is almost finished.

The hospital is expected to open in 2025 and will be operated by Western Health. Once open, the hospital will provide more than 500 beds. Every year, almost 15,000 more patients can be treated, and almost 20,000 extra people can be seen by the emergency department.

There will also be more outpatient, mental health, palliative care and surgical services.

Learn more about the new Footscray Hospital.

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