Forensic medicine inspires Westmead's future arts spaces

The Arts and Culture Advisory Group studies the Forensic Medicine and Coroner’s Court.

The Westmead Redevelopment Project’s Arts and Culture Advisory Group took away some valuable lessons in public art spaces with a recent visit to the soon-to-be-opened Forensic Medicine and Coroner’s Court Complex.

The advisory group – in conjunction with a hand-picked peer assessment panel made up of established Sydney arts professionals – is currently working through artist selection for the 14 pieces to adorn the Westmead development’s outdoor spaces, entrance, Innovation Centre and new hospital building.

With a busy period ahead of the group as it moves from concept to commissioning artists and turning bold visions into reality, any lessons learned from similar projects will prove priceless. Hence the visit to the Lidcombe site of the coroner’s court building, due to open next month.

“The main purpose of our visit was to view one work in particular, which uses the same material as what we’re looking to use in one of our pieces, Night Sky,” said Redevelopment Arts and Culture lead Carla Edwards.

“The takeout was that this material we are considering for the Night Sky project will be very much suited.

“And more generally, the visit was to pick the brains of the people involved in this fantastic new facility and learn some lessons from their experiences.

“Such bold, complex public arts projects are truly collaborative affairs and we’re working hard to get everything spot on.”

While some of the 14 works will be direct commissions, others will considered from selected artists’ briefs.

Night sky will be created by a group of Darug Elders and artists, working in collaboration with astrophysicist Professor Ray Norris, to reflect Aboriginal knowledge of the night sky.

“After seeing the material successfully used at the Lidcombe project, we’re extremely excited about what the Darug group and Professor Norris will produce,” Carla said.