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As you enter the foyer you will be greeted by one of the largest art installations in the region. The bold artwork, measuring almost 180m2, was created by leading artist Peter Poulet and was inspired by stories from Maitland locals about the region, the river and the old Maitland Hospital.

Peter spent time in the local community listening to stories about what people felt was special and important to them about the hospital and local area. Some of these stories were about major events in the town’s history like floods where the water level rose to the awnings of the buildings in the main street; others were about the existing hospital’s past and the role it played in people’s lives, like women holding up babies to show to husbands and partners through the window in days gone by. It highlights the important role that doctors and nurses have in this community, who have cared for people over generations, and will continue to do so in this new state-of-the-art facility.

These human stories were turned into abstract images that depict the heart and spirit of the people in a way that makes this artwork uniquely Maitland. The bright colours in the painting reflect the blue of the sky here and the dry summer grasses. Familiar patterns and shapes have also been included, including the river running through the landscape and folding of the hills.

The entry foyer artwork was commissioned by Health Infrastructure’s Arts in Health program in partnership with Maitland City Council, hospital staff and community representatives. It is a magnificent representation of Maitland and will welcome patients, visitors and the community for many years to come.

Watch the video to hear Peter explain the artwork.