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Exhibition captures an extraordinary year

District partners with Sydney artist to document COVID-19 response.

Three pieces of artwork displayed on a wall
SydneyConnect Image: ​​​An Extraordinary Year

Sydney Local Health District has partnered with renowned Sydney artist Simon Fieldhouse to document key moments of its COVID-19 response, culminating in a special exhibition for staff, An Extraordinary Year.

The District commissioned Fieldhouse to create a series of artworks in real-time as the pandemic unfolded during 2020.

Now, to coincide with the District's 2021 March Arts Festival, six of Fieldhouse's intricate ink and watercolour prints are on display in the District's COVID-19 Vaccination Centre at RPA.

"We commissioned Simon Fieldhouse to produce a series of artworks, working alongside our own communication team, to capture and document the strength, resilience, camaraderie, innovation, courage and kindness of our people who've worked together to keep all of us safe," Dr Teresa Anderson, the District's Chief Executive, said.

The artworks depict the District's COVID-19 Operations Centre, Australia's first virtual hospital, rpavirtual, teams working in microbiology and pathology laboratories, drive-through testing clinics, screening operations at Sydney Airport and a COVID-19 hospital ward.

"The exhibition is one way we're able to express our gratitude to our staff. There are plans to showcase the works to our wider community later in the year," Dr Anderson said.

Fieldhouse worked from thousands of photographs, many taken by photographers in the District's Strategic Relations and Communications team, to create the series.

The artworks on display are the first of 12 in the collection which Fieldhouse will produce for the District. The final work will focus on the COVID-19 Vaccination Centre.

"It's been an incredible privilege to be able to document the pandemic as it unfolded," Fieldhouse said.

"It's been an opportunity to record what has happened during this time. It will serve as a reminder of what we've all been through," he said.

The staff exhibition forms part of the March Arts Festival which highlights the value of incorporating The Arts across all of the District's services and facilities.

It's also being celebrated virtually this year with clinicians and artists exploring the links between art and patient care in online discussions.

The team at RPA's creative arts and health program, Arterie@RPA, have developed art and craft packs which will be distributed at Balmain, Canterbury, Concord, RPA and Sydney Dental hospitals.

Street artists have the opportunity to enter a mural competition with the winning murals to be painted in one of six outdoor spaces at RPA.

At Canterbury, school students have been invited to have their artwork, depicting healthy communities, displayed outside the new Medical Records Department.

And, the Concord photography competition gives staff, patients and the community an opportunity to capture an image that represents Concord, with winning photographs to be displayed in the new Clinical Services Building.

For more information about March Arts please see www.slhdarts.org