Client: Ascension St. Thomas Hospital Midtown, Nashville
Location: Nashville, TN, United States
Completion date: 2022
Artwork budget: $155,000
Rachael E McCampbell
Computer Program Designer
Gresham Smith Architecture
Kinetic, Computerized, Motorized Panels Turning, Revealing Four Seasons:
Ascension St. Thomas Hospital commissioned me to fill two alcoves in the main lobby of their new hospital wing in Nashville, TN. Since the artwork can be viewed from both the main lobby and the exterior rock garden, I decided to make the artwork double sided. My concept was to create artwork that would be dynamic and moving. I divided the art in to panels that would spin at different speeds, hesitate, then stop to be viewed all at once from front and back.
I hired an animator to create the movement I wanted, got the committee’s approval, then hired the fabricator Ignition Arts to create the computer program to make this happen and to build the framework, supportive plinth, lighting, motors and install it. I painted four 5’x 5′ panels in acrylic/oil, had them scanned and mounted onto 20 Dibond panels, 17.56” w x 83.81” h each. I was the project manager on this whole project and worked with many different team members over a two year period.
There’s a great deal of symbolism and spiritual mysticism within the work with the intent to reflect the hospital’s Christian heritage and to create a transformative, storytelling experience when patients, staff and visitors walk through the lobby.
I created the four seasons in Tennessee which are not definable but ever fluctuating with their soft, overlapping edges from one month to the next. To capture this idea I divided four paintings into vertical pieces and set them in motion—spinning them in a dance of days, weeks and moments until all at once, the pieces come together to rest, giving the viewer a moment to contemplate the art and take in the meaning behind them.
The turning seasons are a metaphor for not only the different season of our lives but also our passing moments as we move from busyness to quiet reflection. At one point, the spinning panels all line up to pause and display in full all four paintings before beginning to turn again at different rates. A reminder that we all can benefit from pausing to recharge and reflect before moving on.
Since Ascension St. Thomas is a Catholic based facility, it was important to reflect their values about healing the sick by placing Christian symbols within the work. They also felt it was important that the artwork have a healing effect on those who entered the lobby with heavy hearts and create a sense of peace to visitors and staff alike.
I was the artist and project manager on this and worked with the:
~ foundation that hired me to do this work (Jack Massey Foundation),
~ head of the art buying program for the hospital (Great American Art, Anne Strickland, owner) regarding the actual design process,
~ architectural firm (Gresham Smith) on the sizes of the alcoves, the electrical and lighting, finishes etc.,
~ construction firm building the hospital (Turner)
~ fabricator, (Ignition Arts) and
~ Printer in Nashville who scanned and printed the artwork (Chromatics)
I first worked with the full committee on my design ideas with a written pitch with samples which then lead to more detailed drawings, color renderings and an animated design to show how the work would move in the allocated spaces.
I painted on four 5’ x 5’ panels (over many months) to get the paintings completed, scanned and then printed on Dibond panels which were larger than the original paintings. I had many zoom calls and meetings as the project manager for this job. I went to Indianapolis to see the fabricator’s progress on the frames and computerized program. I worked with Dan Eisinger on the actual design of the sequencing movement of the panels to make sure they flowed and were timed the way I wanted. I also oversaw the installation.
The size of the artwork is -- 110.8" h x 87.8" w. The orginal artwork was acrylic/oil on 4 panels, 5' x 5' printed on Dibond Panels.