Westmead Hospital art exhibition shines light from past into present

Westmead hospital dietician Sophie Feng admires COVID historical photo exhibition.

Westmead Health Precinct is alive with art and history after the opening of two exhibitions that unveil a century of health heritage.

The halls of Westmead Hospital have been lit up with interactive experiences – with art being accompanied by voice and test displays – highlighting the advancements in medical technologies and practices over the decades.

The audio-visual ‘Same but Different’ exhibition graphically compares the 1919 influenza pandemic with the present COVID-19 pandemic.

Taken from across the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) – including Westmead’s Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) – the photos form part of a focus on art through the hospital.

The Health and Medicine exhibition is another display which harks back in history by featuring a range of educational photographs and displaying medical technologies from the Museum of Applied Arts (MAAS).

Can you guess the instruments?

A collaboration between the Westmead Redevelopment Arts and Culture Program and the WSLHD, the exhibitions are designed to inspire, provoke thought and educate.

Some of the items include a Japanese surgical tray, ear trumpet and stethoscope collection (pictured above).

Westmead Hospital general manager Rebecca Tyson hopes the exhibitions initiate conversation among patients, carers and staff, and offer time to reflect on the current pandemic from a new perspective.

“There has been a great advancement in medical technology since 1919, and the exhibitions will highlight the role of the Westmead Health Precinct in practising those technologies,” Rebecca said.

“We want to inspire the thought of health development. I’m proud to see people stopping in the hallways to admire the exhibitions.”

Supported by the Westmead Health Heritage Working Group, the displays form part of an important partnership with the MAAS.

To check out the exhibitions for yourself, head to the main level 2 corridor in Westmead Hospital which links the Post Office to the COVID Clinic.