6 September 2023

Natural attraction: Cooma Hospital upgrade to showcase region's beauty through local artists' works

| Gail Eastaway
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Photographer Charles Davis’s work will hang in the redeveloped Cooma Hospital. Photo: Health Infrastructure NSW.

Artists with a connection to the Snowy Monaro have been selected to create artworks that will feature in the $24 million Cooma Hospital redevelopment, celebrating the region’s diverse creative community.

Health Infrastructure NSW executive director, rural and regional, Amanda Bock, said the works would be displayed in prominent areas of the hospital, including the main entry, maternity department, emergency department and waiting areas, to create a welcoming atmosphere for patients, visitors and staff.

“We are delighted to announce six artists from the Cooma region have been selected to create artworks for the redevelopment, giving the hospital a unique and distinctive identity that celebrates the beauty of the region’s natural landscapes,” Ms Bock said.

Proud Ngarigo and Wodi Wodi woman Gail Neuss has been selected to create the artwork for the main entrance and maternity wing.

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“I have an immense love for the Monaro and this is reflected in my artwork, drawing inspiration from nature and everything it provides us,” Ms Neuss said.

“Many generations of my family were born in and around Cooma, so creating this artwork feels like coming home for me.”

Photographer and seventh-generation Cooma local Charles Davis will have five artworks displayed in the patient bedrooms in the hospital’s maternity unit.

”I come from a long line of local artists, farmers and healthcare workers,” Mr Davis said.

”My mother was the general manager of Cooma Hospital, which meant spending a lot of time in all the different hospital departments growing up.

“My artwork is nature-based photography primarily set in the NSW Snowy Mountains. We have a strong focus on showing unique and emotional imagery that conveys the natural world in a different light.”

The other artists selected are Charlie Bunt, Justine Slough, Mike Edmondson and Belinda Rosenbaum.

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Health Infrastructure arts program director Brigette Uren said the artists were selected following an expressions-of-interest process that attracted more than 30 submissions.

“It was pleasing to receive submissions from emerging, mid-career and established contemporary artists, who proposed a range of mediums including painting, drawing, photography, collage, printmaking and digital art,” she said.

Artists were selected through consultation with representatives from the Southern NSW Local Health District, South East Arts, the local community, and Health Infrastructure.

Heath Infrastructure’s Arts in Health Program integrates arts into NSW Health capital works to create engaging public health spaces and improve clinical health and wellbeing outcomes for patients, staff and visitors.

The $24m Cooma Hospital redevelopment has delivered an expanded emergency department and a new maternity department for the community. A new ambulatory care centre and an expansion of the medical imaging department are expected to be completed this year.

For more information about the redevelopment, head to the NSW Government’s Health Infrastructure page.

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