Uplifting nature art for Parkes Hospital

Filed : ARTS & HEALTH, In Hospitals, Lachlan Health Service Culture & Arts Program, PAST PROJECTS .

Artists in Parkes have captured the calm, uplifting atmosphere of the natural environment in new artworks made for the Parkes Hospital.

The stunning new artworks celebrate wellbeing by exploring the relationship between the natural environment and our life cycle. The art reflects imagery that is uplifting, nurturing, light and colourful to create an oasis of calm for people during their hospital experience.

The project was initiated by Arts OutWest in partnership with the Lachlan Health Service and Parkes Shire Council with workshops facilitated by Parkes-based artist and art teacher Maralyn Nash over six mornings May 18 – June 22, 2016.


“Meeting with the nurses on the maternity wing at the Parkes Hospital gave both Christine McMillan and myself an insight into their artistic preferences and I designed the workshop from their comments wanting art for their patients,” Maralyn Nash said.

The 12 workshop participants sketched and photographed plants, flowers and scenery then developed these into a series of completed art works. Workshops included outdoor excursions to bushy parkland areas around Parkes. Participants experimented with watercolour and acrylic paints and adding collage papers and fibres to pastel and charcoal drawings.

One artwork from each participant will now be gifted to the Parkes hospital.


“I titled  the workshop ‘Through the Looking Glass-Reflections on Nature’ as a theme to reconnect patients with the outside world by viewing art works inspired by nature and our local environment; and for them to  feel less like they are in a ‘twilight zone’ while in hospital,” Ms Nash said.

The experience was relished by the participants.  “It felt like a release to start drawing without having to prove anything,”’ said one participant. “I find nature so healing to draw,” said another.

All participants were highly motivated to do their best work and felt very proud of the potential legacy for their soon to be displayed art works at the Parkes Hospital for both future patients and generations of their families,” Ms Nash said.


The creation of artworks for the Parkes Hospital has been an activity in response to the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts Working Group. The Lachlan Health Services Project team engaged regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest to integrate culture and arts into the Forbes and Parkes Hospital redevelopments.

The NSW Government provided $113.7 million to redevelop the Forbes Hospital and build a new Parkes Hospital. A component of this funding was used to help deliver the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts program.

For more information about the Lachlan Health Service Culture and Arts program, please contact Arts OutWest.

Photos: Jay-Lee Zagrovic.

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