When searching the natural landscape for healthcare appropriate images, my mindset isn’t looking for just any visually interesting composition. I believe it’s critical for me, and the art consultants and healthcare designers to put themselves in the place of the patient, family, visitors and staff.
Empathy is one of the most valuable life skills, with many rewards. When looking for scenes to photograph, I’m nearly always thinking two things:
- “How would I really feel if I were in a hospital bed?” Bored, in pain, wanting to be somewhere else, and probably a touch of overwhelmed by events. I actually try to conjure up that feeling several times while looking for shots.
- “What would I want to look at if I felt that way?” It’s easy to think of what I wouldn’t want to look at! Dark, foreboding, scary, complex, abstract, unclear art would not be helpful to my state of mind. I would much rather look at something engaging but tranquil, elegant but simple, something beautiful without being trite.
It’s hard to understate how important this empathic process is in the production of artwork at Henry Domke Fine Art. It’s our guiding principle. We aren’t creating art to build our resumes. We want it to be of healing benefit to the patients, family and staff of healthcare facilities. Heartfelt satisfaction that we may have made someone’s experience a little easier, a space more welcoming & comforting – that’s the gold in empathy’s reward.