THE Launceston General Hospital has a new art gallery - and a horse.
The hospital's visual arts committee yesterday donated a life-size, barbed wire equine sculpture made by Cygnet artist Nick Adams. The sculpture will be the centrepiece to the new level 3 sculptural gallery.
Bass Liberal MHA Sarah Courtney opened the gallery, which committee chairman Paul Richards said would bring health benefits of its own kind to hospital patients.
"The horse brings another dimension to art into the hospital," Mr Richards said.
"It looks like a real horse because of the way it is structured with the barbed wire and at a distance from the door when you walk into the hospital - it's quite stunning and makes a very big statement.
"We will have sculptural exhibitions in and around the horse from now on every six to seven weeks."
Money to buy the horse was raised from books sold during the hospital's sesquicentenary celebrations last year.
Adams, who is also a fencer and a farrier, said the sculpture was made from old fences, with copper wire used for the horse's mane.
"I completed it in March 2012 ... I started to enter Cygnet's annual art competition and after a few years I started winning prizes for wire horses," he said.
"I thought it would be good to build a life-size horse out of wire that was convincing enough to fool people. Once I finished it, it spent the last 2 1/2 years in Cygnet moving from various spots."
Adams said he loved that the horse would remain in public space.