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The Nature of Art

by Marie Lauer

Many believe in the healing nature of art. Indeed, scientific studies show that art has a profound affect on healing the mind and body. Add nature to the mix and you have a powerful force for energetic rejuvenation. 

This was the approach that local artist Anna Carll used to create a breathtaking series of paintings for Erlanger Health Systems valet entrance to the Medical Mall here in Chattanooga. The Elemental Series combines nature with intense color to enliven a neglected space in the vast geography of Erlanger's campus. "My vision was to help create a space that both patients and visitors wanted to spend time in and allow the art to do it's magic" says Carll. "Most people aren't aware of the subtle affect that art has on the senses—a deep and visceral response to color and natural forms centers the mind & body and can lead us down a healing path."

The Elemental Series is about seeing the beauty in the natural cycle of life and the passage of time. Carll's images successfully portray this concept in The Four Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall. Her modern botanicals dance along the main wall of the lobby while her panel entitled Rain graces the corner wall and reminds us that water is essential to all life on Earth. Carll also uses color as a way-finding element in the hallway leading to the C-bank of elevators. The four Elemental Impressions are colorfield studies that act as wall-level stepping stones representing the colors of the four main elements—earth, water, air & fire. Carll believes that "We are all influenced by first impressions. Subconsciously drawn to color—we will respond and head in that direction." When you round the corner into the elevator lobby you are greeted with Carll's lively depictions of The Four Elements—images that simply grab you and make your wait an enhanced experience.

This is a very cohesive suite of pieces in both palette and concept highlighting Carll's response to the basics of life. Anna Carll's work reminds us that we are all part of the elemental process.