Hospital art – On Country 2022
Emergency Department main waiting area of the new hospital tower – On Country 2022 by Dennis Golding.
About the art
- Medium: Painting digitally printed on vinyl.
- Artist: Dennis Golding.
- Year: 2022.
Dennis Golding’s original artwork depicts Indigenous plants, seeding pods, fish, nawis, which historically and today, are used as life source for sustainability, health and cultural practice.
The artist’s concept allows viewers to understand a historic context of cultural, survival and life sustainability, as well as highlighting key plants and bushes that were a natural source for healing and strengthening. The artwork acknowledges how Aboriginal people within the area of the Nepean River, cared for Country now and have done so since time immemorial.
Key references of caring for Country depict seed pods symbolising growth, and building strength, warrigal greens as a food source, that was commonly found along the coast and river streams; fishing practices with the symbolism of the fish, nawi (canoe), and banksia bush recognising Country.
The artwork is interwoven by a topographical patterning of the Nepean River that links to the connecting freshwater rivers and water veins to the sea. This element completes the artwork to form the connections of place, people and the histories of cultural practice.
Dennis Golding is a Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist from the north west of NSW and was born and raised in Sydney. Working in a range of mixed media including painting, video, photography and installation, Golding critiques the social, political and cultural representations of race and identity. His practice is drawn from his own experiences living in urban environments and through childhood memories.
Golding was surrounded by art from his urban upbringing living in an Aboriginal community in Redfern (often referred to as ’The Block’). As a young child, he often watched his mother and grandmother paint on large canvas and sheen fabrics which depicted Australian native plants and animals, cultural motifs and human figures. Before entering his formal art training, Golding worked as an administrative trainee at Nura Gili Indigenous Programs UNSW. He later developed his professional practice in art school through mentorships with leading curators, educators and artists. Golding graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) at UNSW Art and Design in 2019 and now works independently as an artist and curator.
Through his artistic and curatorial practice, Golding aims to present powerful representations of contemporary Aboriginal cultural identity that inform narratives of history and lived experiences.