An Indigenous artist's depiction of the 1998 Katherine flood is at the centre of an array of bright artwork recently installed at the Katherine Hospital.
Margaret Duncan's large, colourful work tells the story of collaboration and healing in a crisis, and is just one of many now hanging on the walls of the hospital making patients feel more at home.
"When I heard the hospital bought my painting, I was so happy... Art is good healing," Ms Duncan told the small crowd at the launch of the project on Friday.
"I was thinking about all of the sick people and it reminding them of country when they are here."
It is a good healing thing for everyone when you think of the bush.Margaret Duncan
About 70 per cent of patients in care at Katherine Hospital identify as Indigenous and can come from communities as far away as Booroloola to Miniyeri.
Hundreds of kilometres from home and family, the hospital can be a daunting and lonely experience.
But with the corridors now brightened with Indigenous prints and paintings from local artists in the region, it is hoped patients will feel a better sense of home.
The art project 'Recognising our Strong Stories' includes an array of works with healing at the centre, curator, Carmen Ansaldo said.
She works for Katherine Regional Arts and spent seven months collecting the pieces from art centres across the expansive region.
"We want people to feel energised when they walk through the hospital and comforted they are somewhere close to home no matter where they are from," she said.
"The whole idea to have art representing healing is to transfer that to people at the hospital."
We wanted to represent everyone in the community so that everyone saw themselves.Carmen Ansaldo
The prints and paintings hang throughout the hospital depicting healing foods, bush medicine and local places.
The new installation also includes a wall with historic pictures of people and the region.
"This has been a fantastic partnership with Katherine Regional Arts and the NT Government. The Katherine Hospital has shown excellent leadership in empowering local artists to share the vibrant and diverse stories of Katherine and the Big Rivers Region," chair of Katherine Regional Arts Thomas Manning said.
"The work done by Carmen Ansaldo, general manager of the Katherine Hospital Angela Brannelly and the Top End Health Service team has enabled this amazing project to occur.
"[We are] excited about future opportunities to partner and deliver with local artists from throughout the Big Rivers Region."
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