Lou Getty LMT, MFA
Basically, the work is about a nurse from the turn of the century and what she does on her day off for self care.
I ask if you can share your answers to the question of: "What are the salient habits which sustain us on all levels"
Or if you like, please submit your comments on the exhibition.
Thank-you so much for your participation. Your input is very important. This is an attempt to bridge the gap between the poetics and brass tacks of art and life, perhaps a means for expanding our dialog about and understanding of self care as the foundation for effective, preventative health care. If you are a nurse and you would like to take the survey click here.
Mary E. Murray
I am the curator of modern and contemporary art at the MWPAI Museum. I know the artist, Lou Getty, and have talked to her about her Nurse Buttons installation, which I find very intriguing. I don't understand all of the components -- someone asked me about the fruit hanging on the wall or the little deer sculptures, for example -- but the gentle atmosphere of the room makes me think about the life of a single woman living in a time in the past. What was her life like? How did she take care of herself when she wasn't working as a nurse? How is her life different from that of working women today?
As far as the deer family goes they are one of a number of elements under "best friends" of Nurse Buttons - who it appears must have had an affiliation with her natural surroundings. The fruit, aside from being beautiful and visually poetic in their singular presence next to the bed, the sink and the altered large portrait of a young girl.... the fruit could also represent roughage in our diet.
...Roughage is truly an under-estimated daily requirement for getting rid of the gunk in our systems...in addition to water .... any good roughage stories out there?
In talking with Nurses who practice now, I am always interested in hearing their own perception of self care - and consistently hear them muse about how they need to take better care of themselves. It seems that this is true for most of us.
So what constitutes good self care?
Having just been out of town for a brief time to visit family, I'm reminded just how important it is to remove yourself occassionally from the "daily routine." Enjoying a different environment, easy conversation, good food, and laughter with those you care about is nourishing. (Having the Pope in the news 24/7 recently probably didn't hurt either
Getting away from home and from routine is a great way to gain perspective. I wonder what kind of daily rituals others create to help that process happen naturally through-out the week on a daily basis.
I started out in nursing and was in a hospital environment for 8 years. I am now inthe holistic helaing field and have been for 12 years The feeling I got when I enterd the room was very interesting because of the shoes I velt like it was Florence Nightingale yhat this exihibit was about , btu this might be more current th ered Cross is what made me feel her I don't get the feeling of ady off but of a duty and a calling and I dont; know if nurse buttons is real or is just to represent a ny nurse an dhow she migh at that time feel or what her work might entail
I thought that this was a piece of art about nursing but instead found it to be more about the excentricities of some nurse on her day off apparently. What I don't get is what does art have to do with health care?
I though this exhibit is very interesting!
To respond to an earlier question, what connections can we find between art and health care?
Healing and nourishing, perhaps?
Finding our core?
In response to Michele's and Ellie's message,
Nurse Buttons is not an actual person but rather an imagined female nurse from around the turn of the century who worked as a nurse for the red cross. The installation is about what she did to take care of herself on her day off.
I am sincerely curious about modern day care takers and nurses and wonder about their habits of self care and how they manage their well being to keep themselves fit for some of the rigors and challenges they face in their work - caring for others.
My intention with the installation is also to create an environment which is both curiously odd and familiar at the same time to all viewers. Since each of us are responsible for taking care of ourselves - to some extent at least! - there are elements which hopefully seem recognizable if only in the titles of each installation.
There is no particular intended narrative except perhaps within each of the five individual installations in the room - each of which represents a possible aspect of self care, ie: resting and dreaming, taking in nourishment, reflecting on change and personal growth, choosing friendships and activities for spare time, elimination of debris...
... for me personally - there is a direct connection between making art and well-being. Not only do I feel better when I am making art - as an artist the "concept" and nuance of well being is my subject matter. Well being interests me because it is a shared concern. Who likes to feel not well? Can't we all relate to feeling well or not well? So I choose to focus on the feeling well aspect. How to feel well?
I hope the installations help raise useful questions for viewers about their own well being.
So in my musing about this character - Nurse Buttons - I wonder, well what did she do on her day off? Her habits seem like a great catalyst to address common concerns - how to carve out that precious time for self care and defining what that means .... and looks like on an daily and individual basis.
In short drawing serious attention, with some humor attached, to the question of how to thrive is one of my intentions with "Nurse Buttons (m.o.p.) An Internist".
I see the exhibit as a comment of taking personal responsibility for your own health. We rely on doctors and nurses to fix us, but actually, we need to be the primary caregiver of ourself.