Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hospital Art: Color Play

Hospital Art: Color Play

I'm excited to show you some photos of the recent art project we did at Roswell. I am an artist-in-residence (one among six) at Roswell Park Cancer Institute through the Arts in Healthcare Initiative run by the Center for the Arts at UB.

What you see in these photos is a group art piece recently hung in the Same Day Surgery wing at RPCI. Over the past few months we have been inviting patients, their loved ones, and staff at the hospital to play with color. They've been painting square clay board panels with watercolor paint, focusing on blending and color mood. We worked in patient rooms, waiting rooms, hallways, staff break areas, and the infusion clinic. The Arts in Healthcare team also contributed panels. Pragna Wood and I oversaw the project, with help from so many people at Roswell and in the Arts in Healthcare program.

The most challenging part of the whole process was composing with all the squares. It was like one of those puzzles we used to play with on long car trips, where you push little squares around to make a picture of a kitty cat or a clown or something. The only difference is that this puzzle had an infinite number of possible solutions. It could have been arranged a million different ways! As we arranged and rearranged, we juggled our surprisingly strong emotional attachments to each square: each artist we remembered- each worried family member, or delighted nurse, or beloved colleague, or brave patient. It made the artistic process of arrangement incredibly poignant!

So this is the big installation. Waiting to be hung yet is a smaller grouping to go across from the nurses' station. Still in the works is a grouping painted by the nurses on this unit, to be hung behind their nurses' station.

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