Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Art Therapy

There were a couple of things that stood out in those surreal days in the hospital. They were little highlights that broke up the monotony in the fog of endone and shock and scans. The hospital I was in had some very good karma for me as I had my five babies there. I figure that still leaves me in good karma credit even after this last bit of unpleasantness. Most of the aesthetic choices in this hospital are good ones although I question their carpet choice. It's great for disguising dirt but needs to be when it has a riotously adverse effect on nausea.
There was one special afternoon when the Big Fella bought the fantastic five up to visit and I decided I wanted to emerge from my cocoon and hit the cafe with them. So I dressed up in some dandy pressure stockings and stepped out to take some air.

One of the boys got me a latte (as incongruous as him putting out washing), the girls showed me some good twirling.....
and my last glimpse of them was pulling some ninja moves down the wheelchair ramp (less incongruous). Once they left I was all dressed up with no place to go so I thought I might explore a bit.

Of course I went straight to maternity where I ran into some old friends on the wall. This Vermeer print welcomes you in as you enter from admissions. I always loved how he seems to place so many of his women subjects by this window. His wife, Catherina, had lots of children so I'm assuming this was her. There is a lovely version of his painting wiles in the book, "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Tracy Chevalier. Anyway I always felt like she was saying "Hello. Here we go again!" as I walked down to deliver each of the chillun.
This one a little further on was of a couple doing couply things in a series of large lino cuts. Only in retrospect do you realise it is a cautionary tale saying "You won't be doing this again in a hurry ".
I liked these little Howard Arkley-ish suburbia paintings. They were on small, chunky, square canvases- my favourite.
On the way to and from the tedious body scans there may have been some lip biting and tear blinking which these little lovelies distracted from.

This was a huge canvas painting of some one's hoarder-esque back yard. The detail and degree of clutter was mesmerising, perhaps because my own brain was fairly jumbled at the time. I loved the old swings hanging in the foreground. The banality of a back yard is just perfect to stare at when normal has no yardstick any more.

I'm not sure about this. I passed it the first time after that awful diagnosis the night before we went in. I don't remember that walk. The Big Fella just steered me with firm gentle hands. Then I passed it again after we saw the honkologist for the first time. I think it's about patience and moving on. That's how it worked for me and it has some lovely painterly qualities too.
This is my bestie though. There may well have been talk of angels when I dodged that secondaries bullet. I was thinking about them hard as I lay having the bone scan in particular. This one was there for the babies too and I liked it but didn't feel as strongly about it as I did this time. It is now my screen saver. I carry it with me and look at it every time I turn on the phone. It reminds me angels come in many guises and are handy to have around. I'm keeping more of an eye out for them now.


  1. Hey Lovely Lady.
    Aren't your toes delightful, despite the garish background. And that photo of your fab-5, definitely a framer. Thinking of you everyday.

  2. I love that angel painting too. I'm really taken with that hoarders one. It looks like a photograph. Amazing! I think it's also amazing that your hospital even has art.

  3. I noticed your angel for the first time on the evening after we visited you. I even made the kids wait while I looked at it - they were blowing up the rubber gloves you'd given them by then anyway. Always handy to have an extra angel around I say. Does she have a name?

  4. Such a lovely variety of artworks adorning the walls.
    There is something special about the angel painting, I see it too.
    Thinking of you Annie. x

  5. Love the angel, you never know from whence they come !
    Hope you are gathering strength and enjoying some "Deck Time" lovely knitting would be a bonus, as winter is not far away.

  6. Thank you for sharing the good about your hospital nightmare.
    That angel looks like a solid citizen ready willing and able.
    You can't go wrong with her at your back.

  7. I wonder if there's much thought gone into choosing the art for that hospital? I hope so because I'm sure you're not the only poor woman who's sought solace in the images.

    Still thinking of you ... I think that angel's a force to be reckoned with.

  8. hospital art intrigues me. as do the hospital soft furnishings. how were the curtains?

  9. Now the carpet ... oh dear! But the angel ... what a joy that painting is. Do you know Milton's Comus: O welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings!

    Watched over by angels, and with a rainbow army at your back ... feel the love Annie and be well x

  10. Thanks for the art tour, I don't get many of them here. I love the Arkley-ish ones, if they are not his, whose are they? Great distraction. Thinking of you, I still have crayon coloured in toes.

  11. Presume you were at Club Wes? Seems like a superior selection of art compared to Mater Mother's which was my x2 maternity experience. The Vermeer is such a good choice and the angel too. Perhaps you can whip up an inspirational piece your own to pass back to the hospital when you are a free agent again. melx

  12. Good to hear from you - though my husband, peeping over my shoulder was moved to say, what carpet is THAT! I love the angel painting and also the Vermeer is an excellent choice for a maternity ward. Like others who have posted, I think it's really good to find such a wide range of art on display in hospital. There are many that do this and the research is that it is beneficial - it certainly makes you think.
    Hope you are healing. My toes are still rainbowed and I think of you whenever I look at them - which is often now the sun has started to shine here! Axxx

  13. I'm always amazed at carpet in a hospital. We were in the ER section with Dominic on Saturday, after he face planted his scooter. I noted no art work at all, sadly. Only flat screen tv's. You have a nice little collection there. Perhaps you will add to it? The hoarders back yard reminds me of a movie I saw recently - - comprising art and garbage. Have you seen it? You should if not. I think you would like it. x


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