Exhibition leaves mark on hospital

Dom Chris PowerSt John of God Murdoch Hospital was recently host to the New Norcia Benedictine community’s inaugural travelling exhibition of contemporary religious artworks.

The exhibition, Through the Artist’s Eye, was at the hospital for eight months and contains paintings by Australian artists, such as Brian McKay, Linda Syddick Napaltjarri and Weaver Hawkins, from the New Norcia collection.

At a function to mark the closing of the exhibition at the hospital, Dom Chris Power, who has been a monk at New Norcia for 34 years, gave an insight into the paintings and the collection as a whole.

With great passion for the artworks themselves, Dom Power told the audience about the monastery’s strategy for maintaining the collection’s high standard and its ability to attract work from leading Australian artists.

Manager Art Programs Connie Petrillo at St John of God Murdoch Hospital said the works had become a positive part of the patient, visitor and staff experience.

“These beautiful works have had a hugely positive impact on our hospital and we are very thankful to have had them for as long as we did,” Ms Petrillo said.

“They have attracted a great deal of attention, provoked discussion and thought in our corridors.”

Spanish Benedictine monks founded New Norcia in 1846 when they came to the area to work with the local Aboriginal community. It continues to be home to 11 monks.

The exhibition will now return to New Norcia and will be replaced by a new collection of works at the hospital.

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