Art and Health
For eco-artist, Alison Sigethy, bringing nature-inspired art into hospitals and health care facilities has become a mission.
Sigethy's focus shifted towards healthcare design when she surprised her elderly parents with a gift from her studio. "It all began," said Sigethy, "when I took one of these Sea Core bubbler tubes over to my mom and dad's house. Sea Cores are quite beautiful, and I knew they'd enjoy it."
However, she was not prepared for her parents' response to the piece, particularly her mother's.
Sigethy's 81-year-old mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. "She is frequently lost in a world of her own," says her daughter. "But she becomes a different person when she's around the Sea Core. She lights up and becomes much more animated when she's watching the bubbles in the sculpture. She notices the way it looks at different times of day, and she moves around the room to watch it from different angles. It's amazing."
The impact that the Sea Core has had on her mother has given helping others new meaning for Sigethy.
She has installed Sea Cores at the Life with Cancer Family Center in Fairfax, Virginia, and is working hard to bring her nature-inspired artwork to hospitals, nursing homes and hospice centers in the DC Metro region.
"Getting nature into these places is so important," said Sigethy, "because [it] lifts stress, helps people relax, and makes them happy. There's just something about nature that we can all deeply connect to."
For research on the role of nature in health care, check out
Alison's video interview on "Art as Therapy."