No, this isn't a "your mom" joke, and my blog has not been hacked and taken over by teenage pranksters. I chose the title because these things are inevitable. Aging, illness, injury . . . they happen to everyone. I made a statement in my recent video that everyone will end up in the hospital sooner or later, either for yourself or attending a loved one. Yes, even you.
Why am I talking about this on a photography blog? I'm talking about it because several years ago I learned that I, a simple nature photographer, had at my fingertips the tools to make a difference. I learned that much of the art I was already creating was in alignment with the principles of Evidence-Based Art research - research demonstrating that art with specific elements can have a very real and tangible positive impact on the quality of life.
Can this art prevent our parents from getting older? I wish. But since aging, illness and injury are all inevitable parts of life, it makes good sense to pay attention to the ways that we can improve the experiences that our loved ones (and ultimately we ourselves) will have as we go through them. That's where the art comes in.
Evidence-Based Design is a field of study that examines how the built environment can impact stress, wellbeing, and health outcomes. Within this field lives a smaller body of research called Evidence-Based Art, which looks specifically at what kinds of artwork are most beneficial in healthcare settings.
The research is fairly incredible.
Through the vehicle of stress-reduction, images like these have been shown to be associated with all kinds of tangible, measurable benefits. Benefits like lower blood pressure, reduced intake of pain medication after surgery, better reported experience, and even shorter hospital stays. I invite you to visit the Evidence-Based Art page on my website, where you can also download a PDF with more information and references to some of the better-known studies.
It won't be long before each of us needs a little healing. Please consider helping me create calming art and hospital programs that can make our healing spaces a bit more pleasant to be in.