By Bev Jordan
Four stunning artworks by emerging aboriginal artist Karen Lee are now gracing the entrance lobby of the Norwest Private Hospital.
The major works were commissioned by Suzanne Hall, General Manager of Norwest Private Hospital, at the start of last year. The aim was to recognise and celebrate the traditional owners of the land on which the hospital sits.
Karen Lee, a Wiradjuri woman from NSW who has lived and worked in Darug country for over 40 years, met with the Norwest Private Hospital Team over a number of weeks to develop the concept for a series of art works titled “The Journey”, representing the past, present and future journey of Healthscope’s Norwest Private Hospital.
Together the series showcases how all these elements work in harmony to come together for the common purpose of caring for the people of The Hills and surrounding communities.
Elder Graham Davis King sang a welcome to the land and conducted a smoking ceremony outside the hospital’s entrance before Karen Lee and Suzanne Hall unveiled the four paintings.
Gabin-Gidyal (Gubbin-giyal) A Beginning
The first artwork features hill symbols to represent the land on which the Bella Vista Homestead and the suburb of Norwest sit. To this day ancient bunya pines line the entrance to the homestead. Bunya are of profound cultural significance to indigenous culture as a staple food source
Murun (muron) Life The second piece celebrates the journey of life, from birth to life’s end and the role of Norwest Private Hospital in providing care to our community through every part of life’s journey. Every person who passes through Norwest Private Hospital has a role to play in the celebration of life, whether they are staff, doctors, patients or visitors.
Mayiny (Mi-in) People The third piece tells the story of the diversity of cultures in the Norwest area, which may signify a birth place, workplace or a community of practice at Norwest Private Hospital. The four long journey symbols meeting together at the meeting point in the middle of the piece represent the diversity of cultures coming together and working together in harmony.
Dhagun (Daagon) Land The fourth piece holds many symbols representing the native flora and fauna of the environment, such as animal tracks, flowers, and waterholes. The land of this country is both significant to Indigenous culture and where people gather and meet.
Together we respectfully acknowledge the Traditional people of the land on which we work and learn, and pay respect to the First Nations Peoples and their elders, past, present and emerging.