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The Art of Palliative Medicine - 2016 Semester 2

Terminal Steps

The reason I chose to do a collage art work is it is one of my personal time activities that I like to do outside of study. I thought this would be a great way to display what I felt and learnt in a visual format. I also think abstract art is such an important and vital form of communication we have in our contemporary world, it allows us to give form to something we find difficult to articulate with words.

The work is called, ‘Terminal steps’ and depicts a set of variable steps down a chaotic cold waterfall from an alpine peak. The staircase is also representation of palliation. Made up of many materials all different in size and shape, they support a transition down gravity towards death. The steps also don't lead anywhere, and the arrow indicates the one way movement or direction. I think we know where they go but don’t know the next step that will come. We can’t predict the size of the next step, what it will look like, or even if there will be another one. That’s why it hasn't led to anywhere yet. This hovering in space is daunting and scary but support from whatever means, be it family, healthcare or work allows you to build a new step and hold yourself at the next level down rather than slip down the icy fall.