Client: East Tennessee Children's Hospital
Location: Knoxville, TN, United States
Completion date: 2017
Artwork budget: $29,500
Carlton M. Long
East Tennessee Children's Hospital
Creating a positive and joyful experience through art was our first objective in designing “Bluebird Atrium”. The subsequent objectives were to create art that is consistent and compliments the look of the hospital, enhances the architectural design of the building, adheres to the rules and regulations concerning safety and durability, and create artwork that the children, families, visitors and caregivers would love. Materials: MDF, stainless steel rods, custom hardware, paint, clearcoat finish. Each strand is 8-12 feet in length and 40 inches wide.
Imagine a floating sculpture that evokes a light and airy dance. Suspended from the ceiling above are strands of bluebirds and flowers, creating a hanging garden of flora and fauna. It is a delightful sculptural interplay of colorful elements inspired by nature, referencing the sky filled with bluebirds, creating a calm and soothing atmosphere. The interior expanse of space becomes a realm of wonder, bringing enjoyment and amusement to people of all ages. For what else surrounds the creatures and elements of the earth, but the sky and the birds that fly within it.
We are artists and long-time creative collaborators. All of our numerous artistic projects and accomplishments have required imagination, engineering and design skills, fabrication expertise, budgetary management, and adherence to site-specific regulations. As artists who work together, with strong backgrounds in both art and design, we begin our method of creative inquiry and conceptualization by taking inspiration from the site and the environment. We develop an understanding of the environment’s space, its purpose, the community that it will serve, and its cultural life. After this initial conceptualization, research and development begins, with an investigation into materials, the technical exploration of fabrication techniques, budget, and the paramount considerations of safety, security and durability. Crucial to these different phases of creating a significant and large-scale work of art is the input of the many people who contribute their expertise to
its realization. This work and attention to detail culminates in the final phase of the project—the installation and unveiling of the work to the public. The interpretation and interaction between the work of art and the public completes the piece, and is its ultimate goal.