Click on each square/triangle to see an enlarged view of that panel.
"Care and Concern"
30" x 375" x 2"
Six 30" squares and Seven 15" equilateral triangles
Carolinas Medical Center - Charlotte, NC
Trena McNabb was commissioned by the Mecklenburg Arts and Science Council to create a series of paintings that, together, capture the essential work and character of the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. As is typical of Trena’s large-scale public art works, this commission consists of multiple pieces that use shape and color to tie the pieces together.
Integral to the commission was creating a dialog between the artist and hospital employees and patients, and incorporating this dialog in developing the artwork. Trena worked closely with the CMC staff and employees to make certain that the artworks fully complement the facility and that the patient experience is suitably reflected. The hospital’s goal in this hectic, sometimes heartrending, environment is to create a tranquil place where employees, patients and visitors can seek a moment of respite and emotional healing.
This work was installed and dedicated on January 21, 2009
Viewing the painting at the dedication.
As with many of my large-scale public art commissions, I began this work by creating an interesting combination of geometric shapes that would give the work the expansiveness needed to convey the subject matter while maintaining the interest of the viewer. Within this series of shapes I applied images that would relate the story of the caring people and the dedicated work they do to bring excellent and compassionate care to their patients.
I chose six canvas squares alternating with seven equilateral triangles to fill the overall space.
Each square features images of a particular specialty of the hospital: Education and Research, Women’s services, Trauma, Transplants, Cardiac and Cancer.
Overlapping images of hospital staff going about the day-to-day activities involved in providing loving care for their patients are portrayed on each of the six squares. From operating room scenes to those of bedside care, the work of care teams is visually depicted. Victims of trauma and illness arrive via helicopter, airplanes and ambulances as they are met with teams dedicated to tending to their needs. With that help they get care and concern.
Pictured here, also, is the latest technology in medicine such as lasers, surgical robots and computers that capture enhanced medical images contrasted with tools of another era: medical textbooks and surgical instruments being sterilized. These advances in technology at Carolinas Medical Center provide the best care possible for patients.
To break up the space I have inserted triangles at each end and between the six square canvasses. By alternating the orientation of the triangles, and coordinating the colors of the triangles with a color band at the top or bottom of the squares, a sense of spiraling movement is created down the wall.
Each triangle features one element of nature that is common to the Charlotte area: a sunrise, trout in the water, a red rose, fresh-water mussels, the leaf of a maple tree, cobalt blue sky.
In addition to tying the work together each image conveys a unifying visual idea central to the theme of the overall piece. The sunrise forecasts a new beginning. The unborn “swim” in a sea of amniotic fluid. A red rose is often the flower brought to hospital patients. An organ ready for transplant is brought to the hospital in a protective shell represented by mussels. The leaf has veins mirroring our own cardio vascular system. Cobalt used in the treatment of cancer is reflected by the cobalt blue sky. A four leaf clover accented against a patch of clover brings luck. And finally, the bloom in this patch of clover serves to add a period to this visual statement.
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