In her sculpture work, Anne Mondro has designed a metaphor for the close-knit relationships between medical patients and their caregivers. The artist practices a crochet hook and tinned copper wire to create realistic 3D models of the heart, depicting the human pulse—both literal and physical—within the healthcare system.
Over the ensuing years, Mondro has seen many tender relationships between the memory loss patients and their caregivers, and she tells,
“When you care for a loved one, the two of you become intertwined. You take on their vulnerabilities but also their strengths. As I thought about that relationship, it was important that these forms be tied together somehow.”
The project’s influence dates back to 2006 when Monroe first developed a course named Retaining Identity as a professor at the University of Michigan’s Stamps School of Art and Design. The class matched students with persons with dementia via the U-M Geriatric Center, encouraging the artists to recognize the ways that creativity might provide an empowering, enlivening balm during times of illness.