Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ceiling art - something to look up to

When I was a kid, I used to lay on my back and imagine walking on the ceiling.  I'd envision the furniture upside down and what it would be like living from that perspective. 

In college, I studied interior design and sociology.  I wanted to design spaces that would heighten and enlighten the senses in hospitals, clinics, or any place where people needed to feel better.  One idea I had was putting art on the ceiling of hospitals.  I thought that kids, in particular, would benefit in having something to look at to divert their attention from their hospital stay.  I still feel strongly that our surroundings can have a significant impact on our healing.

Yesterday, E (my 8yo) fell back with all of his weight onto a heavy duty garden rake and impaled himself.  I rushed him to the ER where he was attended to.  We spent 3 1/2 hours in the ER of the children's hospital where I noticed they had painted colorful birds and lady bugs on the ceiling.  I thought the attempt was great, but after looking at the images for many hours realized that kids could use more.  How about a series of mazes or puzzles to keep them preoccupied?  Or perhaps installing some artwork like that of Ji Lee, an artist I saw in a magazine on Sunday when E and I were in the Urgent Care for several hours (see yesterday's post). Lee's 2008 Parallel World project is exactly what I used to imagine as a child...that there is a parallel world that exists on our ceilings.  These installations can spark our imagination and take us to places unknown.

"People fill the floor of their homes with furniture and walls with paintings and pictures. So why are the ceilings left empty? Decorating ceilings was a celebrated art form in the past centuries that somehow got lost through the reductionism of modernism. People don't look at the ceiling anymore. It's a dead space. So I wanted to bring a small wink to this space. I also liked the idea that somehow there's a parallel world which coexists with ours."


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