A man standing outside a hospital next to artwork he created on a concrete pole.

Kempsey artist Jason Ridgeway next to the artwork he created at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

Indigenous artwork adorns hospital clinic entrance

Aug 21, 2023

The entrance to the Fracture Clinic at Port Macquarie Base Hospital has been transformed into a welcoming, colourful space thanks to the creative talents of Kempsey artist, Jason Ridgeway.

A proud Aboriginal man from the Dunghutti/Thunghutti Nation, Jason started creating art as a coping mechanism to help with his mental health and has evolved into a successful artist.

“I find art to be healing as it allows me to tell my life story,” he explained.

“My passion is turning ideas into artworks, creating stories from my personal experiences and also from others.

“Some of the stories shared through my art have been passed down to me from my grandparents and their brothers and sisters.”

Jason was commissioned by the Mid North Coast Local Health District with funding from the Closing the Gap Outcomes and Evidence Fund for the art project at the entrance of the Fracture Clinic.

The artwork is inspired by the elements from the bush to the beach, animals, traditional people and represents a connection to country.

“Earthy tones show a story of traditional people’s way of life, the tools they used and the stories they left behind for future generations through way of carvings in trees and interpretation of traditional art techniques,” Jason said.

“Colourful patterns represent people of all countries and regions coming together who now make up part of our communities.

“The mountains represent local landscapes and were an important part of mapping out boundaries of separate “tribal nations.”

“The artwork shows sea creatures that are found and seen off our coastline, some playing a vital role in food supply as well as hunting.

“I also incorporated handprints, again representing a traditional technique of artwork and connection to Country.”

A man standing next to a concrete pole with artwork on it that he created.

Kempsey artist Jason Ridgeway with some of the art he created at the entrance to the Fracture Clinic at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.

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