WORK OF ART: Artist Linda Forrester with her mural of Cedar Creek Falls in the palliative care room at Proserpine Hospital.
WORK OF ART: Artist Linda Forrester with her mural of Cedar Creek Falls in the palliative care room at Proserpine Hospital. Monique Preston

Mural brings light to palliative care ward

A CEDAR Creek Falls inspired mural has brought a little slice of the Whitsundays to patients in Proserpine Hospital's palliative care ward.

The mural, completed just before Christmas, stretches across a 6m wall, depicting a gushing waterfall surrounded by vibrant, fictional landscape.

Strathdickie artist Linda Forrester said she wanted to bring more light and depth into the room, to keep it "light and airy”.

"When you have water and light, you get those nice reflections. You get dappling. You get high contrast. So I wanted to create something that had vibrant light as well as deep shadows and a bit of depth,” Ms Forrester said.

"It's a very narrow room so I wanted to create some depth so the person in that room wasn't feeling closed in and contained in a small space.”

The mural took 64 hours to paint and was sealed on Thursday to allow the wall to be washed to meet infection control standards without causing damage to the painting.

A Cedar Creek Falls inspired mural has been painted in the Proserpine Hospital palliative care ward.
A Cedar Creek Falls inspired mural has been painted in the Proserpine Hospital palliative care ward. Contributed

But Ms Forrester said the time and effort was well worth it for the response she had received so far.

"I had a lovely call from someone who does visitation who said how lovely it was,” she said.

"Her description (of the mural) was 'a stepping stone to heaven'. It brought me to tears.”

Proserpine Hospital director of medical services Shaun Grimes said the hospital decided to have the mural painted to give the room a serene and tranquil feeling.

"Unfortunately life is a journey and at some stage we meet the end of that journey,” Dr Grimes said.

"Hopefully it (the mural) is comforting to all. And helps them to cope with a very difficult stage of life.”

Ms Forrester has painted three murals in Proserpine Hospital in 12 months, two in the children's ward and one in the palliative care ward, each with their own special message.

An underwater, Great Barrier Reef inspired mural in the children's ward shows a boy, inspired by Ms Forrester's son Damon Forrester, giving the "okay” symbol.

A sanctuary-themed mural in an adjacent room features a girl, inspired by her daughter, Haley Vogel, looking through binoculars to say "we're looking out for you”.

Ms Forrester said the palliative care ward didn't have any people in it so it would be more personal.

"I felt the person there had to make it personal. It needed to be the person putting themselves in that view. You don't want figures that don't relate to the person,” she said.

The mural was one of three Proserpine Hospital upgrades costing about $4000, funded by the Whitsunday Lions from proceeds of the Lions Airlie Beach Community Markets.

President Helen Toy said the Whitsunday Lions like to help wherever they can. "We are always very pleased to assist the hospital. We think things like murals that soften the look of the place can be very beneficial for patients' well-being,” she said.

Other upgrades included specialised air mattresses for the palliative care ward and various items for the maternity ward.


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