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Art in New Footscray Hospital to celebrate local history

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Art in New Footscray Hospital to celebrate local history

A three-dimensional tapestry spanning 4.2 x 10 metres and inspired by the nature and history of Melbourne's west will be one of the striking art pieces to feature in the New Footscray Hospital. 

Renowned local First Nations artists Maree Clarke (Yorta Yorta/Wamba Wamba/Mutti Mutti/Boonwurrung) and Mitch Mahoney (Boonwurrung/Barkindji) are collaborating on the design, incorporating microscopic images of river reeds from the Maribyrnong River and skeletal drawings of local native flora and fauna.  

Working closely with master weavers from the Australian Tapestry Workshop, Clarke and Mahoney's artwork will be transformed into a three-dimensional tapestry that will take a team of 10 weavers around 12 months to create. The weaving team will draw from the Australian Tapestry Workshop's extensive palette of over 360 coloured yarns sourced from Victorian farms and dyed at the Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne.     

The piece will be one of the largest tapestries ever produced for a public hospital in Victoria, and once complete it will be positioned in a space spanning two levels inside the new hospital's main entrance. 

The tapestry is one of several public art works being commissioned for the New Footscray Hospital by Plenary Health in partnership with Footscray Community Arts, and in collaboration with the Victorian Health Building Authority and Western Health.  

Having art integrated into the design will help create a hospital that is welcoming, vibrant, restorative and connected – all the things that Melbourne's west is!  

We're so excited to be opening the doors to your New Footscray Hospital in 2025. Construction is continuing, with the internal fit-out well underway. The hospital will deliver world-class facilities for patients, staff and visitors.

Photo above: ‘Welcome to Country – now you see me: seeing the invisible,’ 2024 Maree Clarke & Mitch Mahoney.

Photo insert above right: Artists Mitch Mahoney and Maree Clarke.