Prof Fiona Stanley overcome as portrait is unveiled at hospital


Professor Fiona Stanley with the painting of herself by Mary Moore.
Professor Fiona Stanley with the painting of herself by Mary Moore.

PROFESSOR Fiona Stanley feels a portrait of her, painted by one of the nation’s finest portrait artists, Mary Moore, captures her vision and anxiety for the future.

The portrait, and two accompanying storyboards, are now a prominent feature in the main concourse of Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Moore used a Rembrandt style, avoiding black paint by using 30 layers of oil colours to create the dark backdrop.

She said it took her six to eight hours to perfect the smaller portraits on each of the 70 panels of the storyboards with oils, pencil and watercolours.

Department of Health Director General David Russell-Weisz said Moore was commissioned three years ago for the piece.

Professor Stanley was the founding director of the Telethon Institute and Dr Russell-Weisz said she was involved in FSH from inception to its opening.

After thanking Moore with a bouquet of flowers, Prof Stanley’s emotions overwhelmed her and she moved to the back of the gathered crowd of family, friends, professional contacts and passersby to shed a quite tear.

She had told the audience she felt the portrait captured her enthusiasm and passion, and also her vulnerability and anguish for the future.

Prof Stanley has long been involved in Aboriginal health and, keen to make use of her time before the media, she called for climate change and early childhood to be put back on the agenda, along with a focus on the Fitzroy Valley.

During an interview with media, Prof Stanley said she was immensely proud of hospital staff.

“They’ve just had an accreditation process and come out on top,” she said.

Health Minister John Day said the WA public could be proud of the striking new work that honours the vision and passion of a great West Australian.

The portrait was included in the overall art budget as part of the commissioning of the hospital.