Reverse Print Acrylic
The arts lab has provided an opportunity for me to be witness first-hand the needs of both staff and client of the hospital and in particular the Intensive Care Services. The workshops and conversations were also scheduled in tandem with unit-based Counsellor and Psychotherapist Natalie Harman In an environment that is saturated with stress and trauma the remarkable staff visioned and discussed the various ways their patients, clients and selves release stress and worked to remain calm and mindful.
Letting go was raised time and again and with it a range of images from nature that brought comfort. The need for nature, natural light and air release of energy physically and emotionally was high. The artmaking conversations and gentle mindfulness sessions we ran highlighted how simple the actions for release can be and yet simultaneously challenging for the superhuman effort required to pause and be mentally still in such an environment. The value of the residency was to meet and build working relationships inspiration and research with professionals in the hospital.
The new works were researched and developed as party of the arts lab residency. This involved focus group and a series of meetings discussions meditations and art making. These initial works were developed initially for the families of those in intensive care. The images and themes were further developed with the input of the staff. In late 2019 in tandem with staff counsellor I set up a workspace in the ICU to discuss and research the realties for patients, their families and staff.
The works seek to create both warmth and comfort in Hospital spaces and a visual reminder of the connection to culture, family and community. The consultative aspect of the design process served to embed cultural motifs and shared values that can travel across cultural groups. The circular designs reflect the idea that life is never ending, and everything is connected The form also relates to the vessel, bowl or plate a form that serves us from the domestic to the highly ritualised events in our world. The portal forms emerge from the Mandala - Sanskrit for sacred circle evoking meditative and healing energies a symbol of the underlying connectedness of nature and a focal point for calm.
© Health and Arts Research Centre Inc 2021