Artwork lost at Warwick Hospital
A $3million Emergency Department upgrade is forcing out a much-loved indigenous mural at Warwick Hospital.
But the artwork is set to be saved ahead of the renovations.
The mural was painted in 2000 by the late local artist Colin Wightman with the help of Ena McIntosh and Joanne Duncan.
The painting ceremonially decommissioned before being photographed and framed to be displayed in the upgraded emergency department.
Warwick Hospital director of nursing Anita Bolton said the artwork had brought immeasurable enjoyment and value to patients and visitors over the years.
"We explored all options but as the mural is painted directly onto the concrete wall of the existing Emergency Department wall it cannot be salvaged, other than to be photographed and redisplayed,” Ms Bolton said.
"We are sad to see the original artwork decommissioned but we are dedicated to preserving it in photographic form for generations to come.”
Artist Ena McIntosh said the mural was initiated by the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service, which approached Mr Wightman to paint the mural.
"Colin was my nephew and Joanne Duncan and I volunteered to help him with the painting,” Mrs McIntosh said.
"The mural is titled The Meeting Place, took four months to paint in instalments and has a bush tucker theme, depicting various tribes coming together to meet, eat and yarn,” she said.
"Colin was a very talented artist who painted with passion; his art continues to inspire many people and helps to keep his memory alive.
"Looking at the mural brings back nice memories for me and I am glad that it will be preserved in a photograph.”
The Warwick Hospital Emergency Department currently treats between 50 to 70 people a day.
Preliminary works on the upgrade are set to begin later this year, followed by construction starting in 2018.