Translation & The Memory Tree
15 bronze objects of approx. 15 cm tall at the blood draw lab, shaped after surgical equipment and 3 reliefs of compiled tools. 60 x 90 cm, bronze.
The Rijnstate hospital in Arnhem was formed from three hospitals merging into one. While emptying the old buildings a lot of old stuff surfaced , among which medical equipment and tools. Thus I was asked to use these “artefacts” as a starting position for one or more artworks to be installed in the new building.
What drew my attention was the surgical equipment: creepy tongs, drills, saws, etc. Enlarging the eerily reminiscent shapes by twice the original size in clay created an abstraction, that was continued by casting the 18 objects in bronze. The creepiness has made way for a multi-interpretable sculpture/scripture.
Additionally, 3 panels were cast in which the surgical equipment is “mixed up” with each other. The Dutch Journal of Medicine, focused on this work.
In 2017 I continued with this commission by placing a tree grate around a gingko biloba (maiden hair) tree in one of the inner gardens. This grate is also made out of shapes that are based on tools from the operating room.
New walls that were installed in the hospital couldn’t sustain the 3 panels from 1995 (because of the weight). Hence, they were used in the casting of a new object.
“The Memory Tree”, Rijnstate hospital, Arnhem, Art Collection 2017. Bronze, diameter: 150 cm, based upon medical equipment. Around a ginkgo tree.
foto (1,2,3) Herman van Ommen