Chris Small, Shore hugging the Sea, (detail), oil, mixed media on canvas, 120 x 120cm. Image courtesy the artist.
22 November 2022 – 17 April 2023
This exhibition is dedicated to the staff at the RAH and TQEH and to my Dad George Small. He had a long and active life, impacting the world and those around him in gentle and positive ways, passing away in October 2022, after living with Leukemia in the last part of his life journey. He spent bouts of time in this hospital and TQEH, as part of living with this disease. This body of work is a thank you to the staff here, who literally gave our family more time with him and gave both my Mum and Dad comfort when he was in pain.
– Chris Small, 2022
Chris Small hopes her work lights the curiosity of the viewer in the same way we pause to gaze at nature. The patterns and colours in the rocks, the light playing on the sand at different times of the day, shells, small creatures and seagrasses washed up from the sea are all alluded to in her work.
When we are spending time in a health, particularly a hospital environment, whether it is as workers, for short appointments, visiting loved ones, assisting people we work with, seeking help or experiencing ill health that needs treatment, we are separated from the natural world, by walls and glass. The RAH is designed to have views of the hills, surrounded by built natural landscapes in a way that visually blends the outside and inside spaces. As an SA visual artist, Chris Small adds her version of the outside world to the inside, ‘clean and sterile’ environment of the hospital, referencing this design element. The artist invites visitors to the RAH to stop and take a closer look, to ponder on the marks, colours and layers, to re-connect with the feeling they have when in nature, even if they can’t get outside. She hopes it gives people who need it, a short escape from whatever may be causing them discomfort or pain.