August 15, 2007
“Bypass” in the stairwell:
work by Gatineau artist featured at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Staff, patients and visitors at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute (UOHI) will have an opportunity to enjoy major photographic works by Gatineau, Quebec artist Cécile Boucher, thanks to the Canada Council Art Bank.
The UOHI commissioned Ms. Boucher to create the artworks – entitled Pontages (the French word for “bypass”) 1, 2 and 3, for the Institute’s main stairwell. The works are manipulated photos and scanned images which were then blown up to create laminated works of art measuring more than three square metres each. Because the works were to be installed in a stairwell, the material and installation had to meet the UOHI’s strict fire codes. The lighting was also changed to enhance the visual environment.
“In my photos, I wanted to show the bridges of the region covered by the Heart Institute," Ms. Boucher said. “ You see a lot of water, which I find very soothing and I thought that it would be appropriate in what might be a stressful environment.”
Over the past two years, the Canada Council Art Bank has worked with the Heart Institute to help them select an artist to create artworks for the stairwell.
“Strategically placed artwork can be beneficial in so many ways,” said Art Bank Director Victoria Henry. “It can provide visual relief and quiet contemplation in a cluttered environment. In this particular case, it can be used to encourage communication, evoke tranquility and add dimension to this otherwise plain stairwell. It will certainly be appreciated by one and all who have to come to the Heart Institute.”
“We are very happy with Ms. Boucher’s work,” said Dr. Robert Roberts, President of the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. “Her art provides yet another great reason to take the stairs to improve one’s cardiovascular health, and it has turned a visually dull space into something dramatic.”
The Canada Council Art Bank, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2007, was created in order to support the efforts of Canadian visual artists and to provide artwork for government offices and public spaces, a service which was later extended to private businesses. The Art Bank includes some 18,000 artworks, the world’s largest collection of contemporary Canadian art. Approximately 6,400 works are currently rented to more than 200 government and corporate clients.
About the Heart Institute
The University of Ottawa Heart Institute is Canada’s largest and foremost cardiovascular health centre dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing heart disease. The UOHI delivers high-tech care with a personal touch, shapes the way cardiovascular medicine is practiced, and revolutionizes cardiac treatment and understanding. The UOHI builds knowledge through research and translate discoveries into advanced care. It serves the local, national and international community, and is pioneering a new era in heart health.