We Are Nature

Submitted by Hilary Harrison

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Client: MGH West Orthopedic Center

Location: Waltham, MA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Project Team

Artist

Hilary Harrison

Client

MGH West Orthopedic Center

Architect

Steffian Bradley Architects

Overview

The design was approached with the intention of creating a work of art that would be inspiring and promote a sense of healing and well being. “We are Nature” represents a silhouette of a youthful figure centered within the composition joyfully rising in celebration and harmony with nature. The horizontal lines of the natural setting flow through the simply elegant lines of the figure. The lines softly disappear within the color and context of the whole composition. The inner landscape seemingly dissolves into the outer landscape expressing the idea that we are nature.

Goals

The essential goal in creating the artwork was to promote a sense of well being and healing through color and light. As one walks down the hallway, one is immediately struck by the vibrancy and allure of the colors. The deep watery blues beckon the viewer to come closer. As one is drawn in, the viewer rises in spirit with the warmish golden tones of the sunset. A feeling of joy is expressed as the viewer identifies with the figure whose arms and hands are outstretched in a feeling of joy and elation. The most challenging part in the making and fabrication was the tremendous size of the stained glass panel. The single glass panel measures 5 feet by 4 feet which pushes the boundaries of what is stable and maneuverable in terms of weight and structure for one panel. As a result, reinforcement bars were integrated into the design in a unique way that complimented and highlighted the overall concept. Bending and attaching the bars to the silhouette lines of the human figure emphasized the idea of our holding up and reinforcing the fragility of nature.

Process

The stained glass installation was created in conjunction with Steffian Bradley Architects. Chris DiGiovanni, the Director and Chief of the Foot and Ankle Center at MGH contacted the artist with the idea of incorporating artwork into the new renovations. The artist worked with Chris Anglese to find a place where the piece would be highlighted and visible to patients and medical practitioners. A lighting specialist created an LED backlight for the stained glass that was the inset into an interior wall space.

Additional Information

"Being outside and in nature we become whole and merge with nature. First there is the intention, the recognition, the response, the sensation, the becoming, then the being. We transcend through our experience and through our senses into a divine state of being. Through the activity, the breathing, the seeing, and the sensing the viewer is taken to a place where they merge and become one with nature." - a quote from the artist, Hilary Harrison.