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Hospitals, Melbourne

Inspiring artworks unveiled at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital

09 October 2018

Two new, inspiring commemorative artworks have been unveiled at the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

The first piece to be unveiled was the highly-anticipated bright blue sculpture named ‘Joy’. Standing over five metres tall, Joy is decorated with rare and vulnerable Victorian plants and animals which Joan Kirner, Victoria's first female Premier, helped to protect under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of 1988.

The statue was created by Renata Slusarski, Creative Director for BigFish – the agency that designed the digital mural for the Williamstown Community Centre (Joan Kirner House). When Renata heard of the opportunity to design this latest art installation celebrating Joan’s legacy, she was thrilled.

‘Joan Kirner fought passionately to improve healthcare for the west, so it’s fitting that her legacy will live on as part of this landmark new hospital,’ says Renata.

‘The blue woman is a celebration of women and the joy of creating life. Her shape is inspired by carved sculptures of women dating back many thousands of years. She represents strength, health, fertility, and creation. She is a protector and a nurturer.’

Also unveiled was a colourful and vibrant three piece tapestry, which was hand-woven by Australian Tapestry Workshop master weavers in collaboration with artist Emily Floyd. The tapestry is called 'The Declaration of the Rights of the Child’, referencing materials and working papers that reflect the historic experience of women and children in the western suburbs of Melbourne.

The unveiling of the new artworks was attended by the Minister for Health, Jill Hennessy, Western Health Board Chair, Bronwyn Pike, local member Natalie Suleyman and Mayor of Maribyrnong, Cuc Lam – along with guest of honour Ron Kirner, widower of Joan Kirner. The new Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital will deliver more women's and children's inpatient beds, labour delivery rooms, special care nursery cots, operating theatres and clinics to provide for the West's diverse and growing community.

Statue entitled 'Joy', created by Renata Slusarski for the Joan Kirner Women's and Children's Hospital  'The Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ is a 3 piece tapestry, hand-woven by Australian Tapestry Workshop master weavers in collaboration with artist Emily Floyd