Art in Care Settings may be missing the mark. Do you know how?
Who is the art you have on display in your care setting business, designed to please? Does it serve a purpose beyond basic viewing pleasure?
It is now more common, widely accepted and acknowledged, that visual art in care settings, is beneficial to the care setting business on many levels. Quite often such furnishings are placed with a view to lifting the overall ambiance of the setting. The choice of imagery on display, can be personal and those choices, made with good intentions such as by patient inclusion, or staff voting, the personal choice of a key player in the business, either an owner, Manager or outside investor. When those decisions are made, the selection is seen to be one where the images are “aesthetically” pleasing. The choices are implemented and form part of the ambiance, or as per the French origins of the word, the surroundings.
The true meaning of the word aesthetic, however, should serve as a hint to best practices. It is a word often taken or used lightly and with little regard for what it really means. Its origins are from the Greek word “aisthanomai” and a simply way to understand it is:
- I feel
- I sense
- I perceive
The science of aesthetics is concerned with the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty. Emotions of course, are a physical state, created by our thoughts or our perceptions.
The aesthetics of imagery are more crucial in care settings than just about anywhere else in life. Understanding, that when a person in care is presented with a view of an image, that they will Feel, Sense and Perceive, means we should take the greatest of care in the content of each and every opportunity (image) we present in our care settings.
The compound effect of a series of images, carefully chosen with purpose, to achieve maximum potential to reduce anxiety, increase calm or stimulate a state of happiness for the particular patient audience, cannot and should not be underestimated.