The $70.7 million Mudgee Hospital Redevelopment project has announced Amber Hooper's Day Break Dash as the winner of its recent photo competition.
Amber's photo will be a permanent and prominent part of the new hospital's entrance.
The winning artwork was judged by local community members John Bentley, Mudgee Health Council Representative; Jo-Anne Whitson, Hospital Redevelopment Project Officer and Caren Harrison, Mudgee Health Service Manager.
Amber said she was honoured to have her photo selected from among the 47 entries that were received.
"I feel both honoured and excited to have had my image chosen, and can't wait to see it displayed larger-than-life in the new hospital," Amber said.
"I put so much heart and love of our beautiful region into my photography, and take great pride in showcasing our region for locals and visitors alike. The greatest reward is when a viewer connects with an image emotionally, whether they are filled with a sense of peace, excitement, community or the awe inspiring visual feast that nature has to offer.
"I hope those that visit the hospital enjoy my image as much as I enjoyed capturing it."
Amber said it was Mudgee's natural beauty that drew led her to enter the winning image. The competition brief asked for images that evoked hope and calm, befitting a hospital entrance.
"I use landscape photography as a means to document the world around me and I've always been inspired by nature," Amber said.
"Having lived in Mudgee most of my life I love to explore and engage with my surroundings and produce images that locals can connect with. I took the photo in May; this is when we start getting our first really cold mornings which can produce visually stunning fog and frosts.
"I love to get up early at that time of year and drive to somewhere near town and watch how the sunrise unfolds. It is my favourite time of day to shoot as it's very peaceful and the colours can be dramatic. Sometimes I just enjoy the moment; other times everything lines up for a striking image.
"That is why I chose to submit this image, to me it reflects our region's natural landscape and beauty, as well as conveying an uplifting sense of peacefulness and hope."
Caren Harrison, Health Service Manager at Mudgee Hospital said the selection process was difficult, but Amber's photo was a perfect fit.
"Day Break Dash was selected as the winning work after much deliberation. The committee considered the technical skill of the image, the artist's ability to use form, colour and light to shape the image and its authentic interpretation of the Mudgee region," Caren said.
"It was also important to consider how the images would complement the physical parameters of the Hospital's main entry area, and create a sense of calm, respite and hope in an environment where many can find themselves at their most vulnerable.
"The sense of calm from the rising fog and a sense of hope in a new day dawning are complemented with a spirit of animation, journey and energy from the kangaroos in the selected image. Construction of the new hospital is on track and forecast to be completed in mid 2020 before the services are transferred over and the new facility is operational."
The Mudgee Hospital redevelopment is on track to open in 2020.