Saturday, June 28, 2008

I.V. Pole

I am attracted to the seemingly mundane, utilitarian objects we use or see every day. When my family was going through some health challenges awhile back I became very familiar with the sight of these poles in the hospital. The cold yet comforting glow of the illuminated numbers acted as a gentle reminder that healing was taking place. I could not interpret the majority of the information displayed and yet I knew that its purpose was to help, to relieve, to regulate and balance. Often the only thing on an I.V. pole is a bag of saline or some other healing liquid. Other times there is an IVAC, as is depicted in the painting.

I worked for a time in a hospital and there was always a copse of poles at one end of the ward or in the supply room. Many patients walk around the hospital with their hands upon this thing, this object that might be easily forgotten after the fact but is so very important at the time. My mother was an Operating Room nurse for over 30 years. When I went to visit her at the hospital as a wide-eyed child the poles were invariably there, being pushed, pulled or merely standing, waiting.

Whatever its use, the pole it is something that I wanted to paint, something that chronicled a period of difficulty in the life of my family. It is easily recognizable. We have all had experience with these objects, some more than others and for any number of reasons. Whatever the purpose, I painted it to remind me of that time, the places where my family faced a lot of hardship, and also to serve as a symbol of what issues they have overcome.

“The greater difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skillful pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.” ~Epicurus

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