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The Art of Palliative Medicine - 2018 Semester 1

The Rock and the Nest

A 3-D structure is the medium by which I chose to expression the palliative care patient experience. A person’s life is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. Therefore, I felt that the use of a 3-D structure was the best medium to convey the depth and complexity of a person. The two ideas that I wanted to express with my sculpture is impermanence and purpose. Most of the sculpture is made of wood, a flammable material and the orange/red/yellow paper represents a flame. The purpose of the wood is to sustain the fire, but after a while the flame would have consumed the wood and the fire will die.

I learned about how much family meant to our patient, it was his core – he called it ‘his rock’. This is represented in the sculpture by the rock in the centre. The rock is painted gold representing the warmth I felt from the patient’s family. I also learned about the complexity of the patient’s support network that is helping him for this part of his journey. This network included, family, friends, work colleagues, church goers and health care providers. The complexity of the network is represented by the nest. The outside of the nest was base coated with a layer of black paint, and then over coated with a light layer of gold paint representing warmth. On the nest it represents the warmth coming from the patient’s support network. The black undercoat creates a shadowing effect, this dark shadow represents the undercurrent of death that is ever present.