A video has been developed to tell the story of 'Gum leaves' - a major public art project featuring prominently in the forecourt of the new Prince of Wales Hospital Acute Services Building at Randwick.

Created by artist, historian and Elder, Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie (Eora/Anaiwan) and artist Jonathan Jones (Wiradjuri/ Kamilaroi), the artwork uses sandblasted pavers to provide a prominent and embracing welcome to all Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

As part of a series of unique and distinct art and cultural displays at building’s main entrance, the artwork is a true reflection and celebration of continued culture on country.

With large-scale yet intricate outlines of gum leaves etched into the pavement, the artwork mimics the bush floor with an array of leaves scattered across the forecourt, as if they have fallen from above or are left over from an ancestral ceremony.

To be made ‘welcome’ in terms of Aboriginal cultural practice is a most important and significant act of mutual acceptance, to greet new friends and visitors to country or other significant places, such as this new icon of healing, with the assurance of goodwill.   

“As a respected artist and Elder from the La Perouse Aboriginal community (on whose land council area the Prince of Wales Hospital is situated), I believe the use of Australian native gumtree leaves, as used in our traditional and now contemporary Welcome to Country smoking ceremonies, is a magnificent symbolic gesture as a ‘welcoming device’ to the hospital’s visitors,” said Dr Peter Yanada McKenzie, Gum leaves artist.