Shenton Park, Shenton Park, Australia
Mutuality is the shared positive or interactive relationship between two or more parties, which was the cornerstone to life and stories from the former Shenton Park Rehabilitation Hospital. This artwork thus echoes the interwoven lives of the hospital staff and patients, and their stories of trauma, setbacks, rehabilitation and resilience.
The former patients, visitors and staff often defined this site as akin to entering “another world”. The hospital predominantly accommodated people with spinal disease or injury, often characterised by disconnection; a body that was fractured, misaligned or neurologically impaired. Outside, life continued on, but inside life was intense. Patients were often physically trapped in paralysis while their minds were vibrantly active, similarly, staff needed to be exhibit care and slowness, yet also race against time to find cures or rehabilitation of unfamiliar diseases or injuries. It was a place of starkly contrasting movement and speed.
Functionally, this artwork acts as a permeable screen enabling passive surveillance yet discouraging children from chasing a ball onto the road from the public open space. It celebrates extraordinary individuals, community history and identity. Ten quotes from former hospital staff and patients describe their lives marked by challenge, movement or stillness, the joy of regained movement and resilience.