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Healing Photography Art at UCONN Hospital
Leaving a Legacy
The Marriage of Art and Healing through Photography
UCONN's John Dempsey Hospital, Farmington Connecticut
For those of you who may not know, earlier in my life, I spent 15 years as a Bio-TouchTM Practitioner for the International Foundation of Bio-Magnetics in Hawaii and Tucson, www.justouch.com. As a Bio-TouchTM practioner and Center Coordinator, I was called out many times to the nearby hospitals to offer sessions and assist people in their healing process who were hospitalized. I spent sometimes months going to hospitals on a regular basis to offer care. I spent a week straight at the ICU Unit in Flagstaff to help a friend who was in critical care after a car accident as well as assisting my nephew for 3 months at the NIC unit at Yale New Haven Hospital who was born premature with hydrocephalus. For many of the patients and family I visited, the question of life and death was often on our thoughts and mind. As the days turned into weeks, the hospital walls became sort of a prison, with it's sterile environment, coldness walls and starkness, shielding off the person from the outside world of life and nature that surrounded them. I often pondered the ways hospitals could be made more open and connected to the healing powers of the outside world of nature.
That was over 20 years ago and things have changed a lot in both the healing field and hospital environments. One such hospital on the forefront of this movement to make hospital environments more healing is UCONN's John Dempsy Hospital Tower in Farmington, Connecticut. The hospital incorporates open spaces and large glass windows with sun filled rooms for healing as well as well as wood tones, earthy tile, glass panels of wildflowers and My healing art photos in every patient room of the 169 patient rooms.
A few months ago I was contacted by Steffian Bradley Architects, http://www.steffian.com for my Connecticut Nature and Landscape Work to supply 169 2' x 4' panels of my photos to be printed onto a plastic type laminate material for the hospital. I jumped at the opportunity as it has been a long time vision and dream and passion to bring healing to those in need through my photography.
The long Connecticut winter gave me the time and ability to work on this project which was quite huge in it's size and scope. Large in that they required 169 images and large in that the photos had to be #1 blown up to over 2' x 4" and then # 2,into elongated panoramic size which eliminated all my vertically oriented images and many of the horizontal images as well. Photos were then further eliminated because of cultural, religious and other reasons. To make the long story short, I submitted over 700 images which went through a huge approval process by the board and architects to come up with the photos that were eventually chosen for the 6 levels of patient rooms.
Once the images were decided upon they all had to be enlarged, cropped and re-sized and then sent to the Panolam factory in Maine to be printed onto the laminate panels and then delivered and installed in each of the hospital patient rooms.
Though I shot the images and layed out the sizing of the images, I didn't know what they would look like blown up to full size on the laminate panels. That was until this weekend when I attended the public open house for the hospital. The open house was a very emotional day for me seeing what was in some ways a life time of work encompassing 20 years in the healing field and 10 years shooting in the field as a photographer. The comments I received from onlookers and the medical staff were so touching and I was moved with the realization that I had created a legacy that would be here for many years to come to help heal those in suffering and need and to help bridge the separation of human and nature especially at a critical time on a persons life-the time of sickness, change and transition.
I stayed at the hospital open house for many hours, taking in the magnificence and awe of the moment and taking lots of photos too. On the way home I thought a lot about my life and what it means to leave a legacy in life. Our thoughts, actions and deeds are like footprints left in the sand of life or like ripples in the water that continue to move outward, even after the stone has fallen. How will we be remembered and how will our lives impact, help, inspire, heal and change the world around us?
What kind of legacy will we leave?
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