Client: Monroe Carell Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Location: Nashville, TN, United States
Completion date: 2008
Artwork budget: $25,000
Gone Fishin’ is an interactive sculptural toy made to amuse children and grown-ups.
The pond habitats are contained in circular cases, shaped as a porthole, with frontal viewing windows to watch the movement.
The front and lower portion of each case are large colorful disks for the children to turn and animate the bugs. Turn the wheel and frog on the left drops its lower jaw to reveal gleaming white teeth while the frog on the right shoots out its tongue to catch a fly. Luckily it is never caught!
The interplay of the mechanical action encourages children to be in complete control of their own colorful world filled with frogs ever ready to catch a fly or a bird wading in the pond and greeting a fish. All of the bugs, flora and fauna inside of the boxes are hand cut and carved from wood and metal. Everything is painted in bright beautiful colors. The creatures are animated by simple pulleys and rods that have a nice and very calm clicking sound. (There are no electronics for upkeep or repetitive noise!)
There are certain issues that the artist must address in designing and fabricating art for public spaces. This is especially true within the healthcare facility. Technical considerations must be addressed and construction and safety standards maintained. There are guidelines established by the architects and governmental regulations that need to be followed. There are durability and maintenance issues. An example of this would be the ease of keeping the art clean and maintained so that it stays in working order. Repetitive noise generated from movable parts in a sculptural piece should be kept to a minimum. Artworks may also have to be moved and relocated from time to time as the interior space changes through renovation or expansion.
Visual aesthetics are of the utmost importance. The art must appeal to all age groups and genders. It should respect diverse ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. The art must also refrain from political content. Its main purpose in the health care setting is to provide a type of service or mission to its audience. It should provide an uplifting feeling and create an environment of warmth, joy and optimism.