Aboriginal Healing Space

The Lock Hospital Aboriginal Memorial Healing Space:

As a culmination of our ‘chain’ motif, we have designed a physical ‘Healing Space’ to encapsulate the history in yet another form – that of real images from the past: photographs and newspaper cuttings from the period: possibly from Trove and such like, as can be researched and developed accordingly. All this would be take place in consultation with the appropriate Aboriginal people to ensure validity and also to ensure that these images would represent their history in the correct way.


The shape is based on a simple six- sided structure, the supporting framework composed of chain elements instead if tree branches. These  six chain ‘columns’, welded solid, become a portal frame supporting ceramic  glass artworks symbolically representing ocean ‘waves’ bearing a comprehensive composite ‘storyboard’ of historical images and explanatory text which tells the ‘story’ of the Lock Hospital tragedy in a highly accessible form. This history could also be supported by a mobile phone ‘App’!

 The ‘chain’ framework arches overhead, finally connecting with another powerful image of oppression…the ‘Shackle’….hovering menacingly at the apex of the ceiling. This great steel ‘ring’ is also a symbol of eternity.

 Over this we designed a shallow roof…for shelter, the underside of which we suggest could be a ‘canvas’  based on the map of WA showing the route of the Path of Pain from the far north and inland to Carnarvon where Aboriginal people were forced to walk in chains to Carnarvon for their ultimate removal to  Bernier and Dorre islands. 

The floor of the structure could be treated in polished Black Granite, with a simple Red Granite motif inset , representing the sombre nature of the terrible Lock Hospital tragedy and the Country through which the people destined for the Islands- were forced to walk.

We have elevated the structure slightly from ground level by one step which is symbolic of entering a ‘sacred space’

The siting of this feature would be the subject of negotiation by the Aboriginal Community and the Shire of Carnarvon. ( wheelchair access would be included)

Ultimately, our concept is focused on the need to explain- the need to remember; the need to heal.