Change and Adaptation

02. 08. 2016

Mt Barker Maternity Installations

Artist:  Cath Cantlon

Installation of a mural and a copper sculpture in the new maternity wing of the Mt Barker Hospital  

Artist Cath Cantlon was commissioned to create artworks reflecting the local Peramangk culture for the new reception area of the Mt Barker Hospital maternity ward .

Cath worked with the local Aboriginal community to develop themes that relate to the Peramangk culture. The River Red Gum was identified as a significant tree for the Peramangk and is used by the birthing unit as a universal symbol of germination, budding and flowering.

The material for the 500mm high mural had to be infection controllable, so polycarbonate plexiglass was chosen.

In the post-natal garden area Cath has developed a sculptured coolamon.  Roger Goss from Bullseye Creative completed the fabrication process.

The coolamon, traditionally used for carrying babies, has been constructed from textured copper on a steel base and measures approximately 1m long and 400mm wide.  Maternity staff are encouraging Aboriginal women to take the first photos of their babies in the coolamon.

Partner Outcomes

  • stronger connection with the local Indigenous community
  • a welcoming environment for service delivery
  • strengthening of the reconciliation process
  • a further step towards closing the gap

The Mt Barker Installations emerged from the ‘Dressing the Building’ project.  Click here to see the Change & Adaptation project map.

Matthew Bennett

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2011 - 2014


Artist Residencies


Country Arts SA in Partnership with Australia Council for the Arts, Alexandrina Council, Government of South Australia and Medicare Local


Alexandrina Region

Country Arts SA recognises and respects that we are living and creating on Aboriginal Lands and we are committed to working together to honour their living cultures.