AN EXCITING new arts strategy that incorporates design and wayfinding into one seamless process has been delivered through a partnership between the hospital redevelopment project, the Campbelltown Arts Centre, Billiard Lease and Health Infrastructure NSW.
By way of consultation with local indigenous elders, a series of plants widely known for their healing and medicinal properties, and endemic to the Dharawal region, have been identified to be star features in the new clinical services building.
Sketches of different native pants will be displayed on each ward to depict a narrative with a history spanning greater than 100,000 years.
Artist Erica Secombe, along with Aunties Glenda and Deidre from the Dharawal community, scoured the local bushlands to identify plants that could be linked back to a central theme.
The following plants have been selected to match with services within the hospital:
Emergency department — spiny headed mat rush or basket grass plant. Also known as Lomandra Longifolia. Selected because of it’s versatility in first aid and because the branches are flexible and durable, and were often used as a bandage to wrap sprains.
In the Operating Theatres the tea tree melaleuca was selected.
This plant is has a range of medicinal properties derived from extracting the oil. It is an antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial agent.
Tea tree can be soaked in water, crushed and used as a poultice and used as an inhalant to treat head colds and sore throats.
In the Intensive Care Unit the sweet sarsaparilla was selected as the leaves have a well know medicinal value. The plant is used to treat coughs and respiratory ailments. The new leaves can be sucked to ease a sore throat, and the leaves and stems act as a general tonic said to relieve inflammatory symptoms associated to colds, flu, coughs, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism and diabetes.
For the respiratory and cardiac unit, the wattle acacia longifolia was selected. This diverse plant is known for its life sustaining properties and seasonal indicators. The wattle gum is used to treat coughs and colds.
And lastly, for the maternity and special care nursery, two native plants have been selected. Firstly the Bottlebrush Melaleuca Citrina which is used for its pain inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties.
And secondly, the bracken fern, which when coming into bloom, the fern heads have an embryonic likeness which signifies fertility and new life.
All sketches are now being finalized and will be displayed as central pieces of art bringing colour and vibrancy into their respective wards.