Aboriginal artwork by local student features in stunning installation 

Crookwell student Brock Chudleigh

For local Crookwell student Brock Chudleigh, having his artwork feature on a striking large-scale installation at the $165 million Goulburn Base Hospital redevelopment was a big but welcome surprise.

The 17-year-old Crookwell High School student, whose family comes from Yuin Country on the NSW South Coast, was one of a number of First Nations students from the local region selected to create original artworks throughout the redeveloped hospital.

Brock’s unique artwork pays tribute to the region’s rich cultural history and is a stunning feature of a 5.5 metre high steel external staircase outside the recently completed Clinical Services Building.

“It was a massive surprise when I was told the hospital would be using my design - I was in total shock and awe to see how big it was and how amazing it looked,” Brock Chudleigh said.

“My artwork illustrates a river between Aboriginal people and the animals, and how they moved to let the land recover and not overuse it, as they knew it meant so much to us and deserved respect,” Brock said.

“It has given me great honour to see it featured and my family are so proud of me. Some of my tribe from the South Coast have also told me they’re very proud of me.”

“Seeing my artwork come to life has also given me more motivation to continue my artwork and strive to learn more about my culture.”

The installation was designed in close consultation with Pejar Local Aboriginal Lands Council and Elders and Southern Tablelands Arts Incorporation.

Students from Trinity College, Goulburn, Mulwaree and Crookwell High schools have also played a key role designing the original artwork on an internal staircase which recognises the Goulburn-Mulwaree culture, its people and communities. The area is a traditional meeting place and the artwork reflects the importance of the Wollondilly, Mulwaree, Shoalhaven and Lachlan rivers to community.

Health Infrastructure’s Program Director, Arts, Brigette Uren, said local Aboriginal students and the wider Aboriginal community are playing a key role integrating art in the design of the numerous hospital and health services projects right across NSW.

“It’s terrific to see the work of young artists like Brock featured in our hospitals and engaging youth in our arts programs enables them to be an active part of this process,” Ms Uren said.

Watch our interview with Brock below to hear more about his artwork and inspiration.