Art helps with healing in hospital

A major exhibition of works by an acclaimed aerial photographer is brightening up the corridors and minds of patients at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

15 May 2019


15 May 2019

The works of Richard Woldendorp AM, who is 92 years young, covers 200 metres of wall space in the Hospital’s main corridor.

The main corridor, which also acts as the Hospital’s gallery space, was completely refurbished in readiness for this significant exhibition which also marks the launch of an exciting series of exhibitions and films reflecting acquisitions in the St John of God Health Care art collection.

Art and healing

St John of God Murdoch Hospital Chief Executive Officer Ben Edwards said the launch acknowledges the hugely valuable role that the arts plays in the healing process.

“There is plentiful research demonstrating a clear link between patients’ mental state and their ability to heal,” he said.

“In that context everything we can do as a Hospital to positively influence the mental wellbeing of our patients is worthwhile.”

Mr Edwards said Murdoch thoroughly embraced the arts as contributor to the healing process.

“Art, in all its forms, has a very important role to play in this regard,” he said.

“Art is a fantastic medium because it stimulates the mind and, at its best, makes us think. Even if art simply acts as a distraction for someone’s discomfort that serves a valuable purpose but more often art has a much more profound impact on people.

“In recent months we have seen a large seascape and aquarium-themed mural appear on the roof of North Block and hosted several prominent collections in the Main Corridor.”

Richard Wolderdorp

As part of the exhibition of Richard’s work, a 15 minute video was produced in Perth by Lyn DiCiero from the Artist’s Chronicle. The film also features pilot Jan Ende who has been flying with Woldendorp for more than 50 years, as they took the skies again.

The two were keen to rekindle their adventures in the air, which includes flying around Australia at least seven times in search of unusual and unique aerial images of an Australia few could imagine from the ground.

Mr Edwards said Richard’s work was genre setting and instantly recognisable.

“We are extremely proud to be hosting this exhibition and I encourage everyone to come in, look at the artwork and watch the video that has been specially commissioned for this occasion,” he said.

Richard Woldendorp has held 52 solo exhibitions to date and produced 27-plus books.

He was WA Canon Professional Photographer of the Year five times (1984-1992) and was inducted into the ACMP Hall of Fame in 2002.

He was named a State Living Treasure in 2003 and was honoured with an Order of Australia in 2012 for services to the arts as a landscape photographer.

Richard Woldendorp: Artist’s from the St John of God Health Care Art Collection is on show and screening at St John of God Murdoch Hospital gallery until the end of July. The gallery is located to the right of reception at St John of God Murdoch Hospital.

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