A brass flying egret on the roof of a Hunter hospital is part of the latest addition to its arts for health program and is providing information on the weather.
The egret is part of a 1.5m long weathervane (or weathercock) that has been installed on the roof of Hunter Valley Private Hospital at Shortland.
CEO Lance Wheeldon said that the weathervane is a new point of interest for patients, staff and visitors.
“Hunter Valley Private Hospital is using art and its gardens to create a more enjoyable place for patients, staff and visitors,” Lance said.
“The weather vane sculpture is a practical addition to Hunter Valley Private Hospital's collection; we always know which way the wind is blowing.”
The work became a labour of love for Robert Pullar a designer and sculptor with Central Coast based Artichoke Design Studios.
The egret sits above a belvedere made up of a subframe of powder coated galvanised steel with applied corten steel, aluminium, copper and brass elements. Laser cut images were made from wildlife photographs taken by Newcastle academic Allan Chawner and there is also a fig tree and the egret. Three flying ducks are a reference to the neighbouring wetlands and 1950s. The Chawner photographs were taken for the 17 panel, curved glass curtain feature wall that is a key feature of the second floor of the Suters' designed hospital wing that opened in 2011.
The weathervane was constructed off site and reassembled piece by piece. Lance had wanted to install a weathervane for some years and the belvedere solved the issue for him. He said Mervyn Peak’s Gormenghast trilogy was one inspiration for the design.
The hospital has an extensive art collection which includes many local artists. It also has an exhibition of maps, artworks, photos and poetry dedicated to Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson. (The hospital is located on Mawson Street.)