Client: Larry Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine
Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States
Completion date: 2021
Jacob van der Beugel
Jacob van der Beugel
CEO of institute
Institute for Transformative Medicine
Created for The Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine. This artwork installation clads an entire wall with handmade concrete panels that depict change. The permanent architectural installation is 10m wide x 2.5m high. Using aggregates from across the globe, recycled aggregates, liquid rust, self-healing concrete and handmade ceramics components Jacob has transformed the mezzanine space. The piece plays with the idea of change in a material synonymous with permanence and endurance. The work comprises of 13 columns of panels. Each column is representative of our knowledge of a particular cancer. The colours and aggregates shift in colour and texture, indicating a progression of disease. When compared to other columns some our lighter or darker. This indicates our current and future knowledge of this disease, which varies as our knowledge varies.
This piece is designed to sit at the threshold of where researchers and clients congregate. It provides a momentary meditation before research recommences and clients are treated. The work is designed to be striking and beautiful, whilst also providing a more nuanced macroscopic lens of our current state of knowledge.
The goals were primarily to highlight the institutes mission for transforming cancer care and treatment. The work needed to be beautiful and impactful because the clients or patients are undergoing difficult treatments and the researchers are engaged with seriously complicated and intractable scientific conundrums.
In order to provide the space with a restorative impact the tactility of the material was very important. The panels are incredibly haptic and are screaming out to be touched. Using more than the visual sense is really important to experience fully an architectural work.
I was asked by CEO David Agus, who has a passion for introducing art into medicine and research spaces, to create a bespoke artwork for his newly commissioned building in Los Angeles. This building combines the latest in oncology research with in-house researchers and technicians with a patient clinical focus. This highly contemporary way of providing high tech science and the latest in personalised medicine/care was the foundational for our collaboration. After many iterations in various materials we decided to focus on the notion of change. We both wanted the artwork to depict microscopic slides but also a macroscopic view of knowledge. This also needed to be combined with the idea of shifting knowledge and dispersed knowledge.
This piece was largely made possible through the generous support of Larry Ellison and David Agus, who continue to pioneer new ways of providing the best care and advice possible to those who require it. Their commitment to integrating art into an institutional environment can have transformative effects that are hard to quantify but essential nonetheless.