A collaborative arts project to create healing environments working with the Infant Child Youth Family Mental Health Unit (ICYFMHU) is underway at Bloomfield campus (Orange) in the redeveloped Yaganda Bulabul Building.
The ICYFMH community contacted Arts OutWest in 2022 to develop a unified artistic concept using the Three Rivers to link spaces and the flow of people and movement through the newly redeveloped In-Patient (IPU) and Community Mental Health (CMH) units on the Bloomfield health campus in Orange. Through a series of consultations and workshops, the aim of the project is to create a culturally appropriate, welcoming and safe environment for young people ranging in age from infants to adolescence. The art will be mural artworks that generate a sense of hope and change.
The Three Rivers refers to the three rivers of the Wiradjuri Nation bordering the Wambuul (Macquarie River), the Kalari (Lachlan River) and the Murrumbidjeri (Murrumbidgee River). Also including the Murray, Little River, Bell River, Cudgegong River, Bogan River, Turine River and a portion of the Castlereagh River. Wiradjuri means people of the three rivers.
Christine McMillan and Steven Cavanagh from Arts OutWest have been working with six local and regional artists to deliver a series of large and small mural artworks, installed over time, throughout the internal and external spaces of the building. The works explore the concept of The Three Rivers and have been designed through a process of consultation with local Aboriginal Elders and a steering committee.
Arts OutWest engaged artist Leo Cremonese to establish a colour palette for the project that was calming and that would allow the artists freedom to develop imagery relating to the theme [main image].
“I have as my main concern the choice of colours that will contribute to the well-being of patients and staff. To do this I tried to find the right dynamic relationship of key, tone and chromatic temperature that would form the notes with which the artists can compose images that are at the same time calming and cheerful.”
Christine, Steven and Leo met onsite with the artists, Elders, staff and committee during a 2-day artist workshop in February 2023. The workshop was designed to support the project as collaborative and holistic, open to evolutionary change. It was decided that each artist would focus on designated areas and a series of art workshops would occur during the Easter 2023 holidays. These guided workshops were offered to young people, staff and families to create flora and fauna imagery for use along mural river systems.
Artists engaged to create murals for the project are:
- Kylie Tarleton, Wiradjuri artist: creating decals for meeting and consult room glass doors.
- Kaiden Powell, Wiradjuri artist: working with the Community entrance, family room and waiting areas.
- Sonny Day, Orange based artist and designer: IPU staff station and gym area. He will also organise the preparation of other artist’s images for printing and turning into decals.
- Madison Gibbs, Barkindji artist: will concentrate on the IPU entrance and courtyard area.
- Jason Wing, Biripi artist identifying with his Aboriginal and Chinese heritage: will concentrate on the long curved hallway wall in the CMH area.
- Joel Tonks, Orange based artist: will create mural work for the IPU and Community spaces. He will also run workshops with young people, family and staff from the IPU and CMH services.
Artists have now delivered their final design mock-ups for approval. We expect artists to be onsite and painting throughout the months of May and June 2023.
The Yaganda Bulabul Art Project is engaging the arts to achieve positive health outcomes. We want to provide patients, caregivers or medical personnel with arts experiences as a means of supporting and distracting them from stress, pain and anxiety. Using art to build or reinforce social networks among patients, families and caregivers within the healthcare environment.
Arts OutWest has been working in the arts and health space for many years and in the redevelopment of hospitals in the NSW Central West since 2008. We have a MOU and partnership with Western NSW Local Health District.
- Leo Cremonese working to create a colour palette for the Yaganda Bulabul building art project. Photo: Arts OutWest.
- Mural design mock-up by Kaiden Powell (Wiradjuri artist) for the CMH entrance of Yaganda Bulabul building. Photo: the artist.