City of Nedlands art commission pays tribute to WA Health Workers

Published on Tuesday, 5 April 2022 at 10:49:00 AM

Details of the City of Nedlands’ new public artwork, dedicated to the work of Western Australian health workers, have finally been released.

Mayor Fiona Argyle announced the Council’s selection at a recent meeting of the Council, saying the artwork will pay tribute to the health workers who have cared for the community throughout the pandemic.

“This is our opportunity to say thank you in a way that will mark our gratitude for many years to come. 

“It is symbolic of the expertise and care WA health workers have provided to us all, since COVID-19 first hit our shores,” Ms Argyle said.

Councillor Ben Hodsdon, Chair of the City’s Public Art Committee, was instrumental in driving the tribute project and assisted in the subsequent selection process.

The successful artists chosen to create the artwork are Denise Pepper and Matt McVeigh, an experienced multi-disciplinary Western Australian artist team.

The proposed work is a unique and significant response to the Council’s call for a dedicated Health Workers Tribute.  The Council approved $50,000 expenditure for the artwork. 

Titled Safeguard, the work emphasises the role of health workers throughout the pandemic and illustrates their connection with and service to the community.

The artwork will be installed at Dot Bennett Park, an important site due to its proximity to the health care precinct in and around the City of Nedlands.

Mayor Argyle says the City has a significant public art collection, with works by some of Western Australia’s most accomplished artists.

“This new artwork will be an exciting addition to the collection, being both topically important and conceived in an upbeat and contemporary manner.

“Most importantly, the artwork will celebrate the thousands of health workers who have given tireless dedication to caring for the community through the pandemic, Mayor Argyle said.”

Additional information:

The City has been working towards this Public Health Workers Tribute project since May 2020.

The project was initially approached as an artwork purchase, then later changed to a commission. The commissioning procedure is more complex than purchasing an existing artwork and involved several steps from appointing a consultant to co-ordinate the project through to receiving and considering submissions and selecting from the shortlist of submissions. 

The successful submission by Western Australian artists Denise Pepper and Matt McVeigh, creatively expresses the artist brief in an innovative, contemporary and positive way. It pays tribute to the health workers themselves while also representing the community which has been protected and supported by them.

This artwork will be a fitting and visible expression of the City’s acknowledgement of the health profession, particularly with the City’s proximity to so many major health facilities.

When completed, a formal artwork launch event will be held on site at Dot Bennett Reserve.  Completion is expected by September 2022.

 MEDIA RELEASE Healthworker Art Tribute March 2022.pdf

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