This installation works to merge the medical and domestic realms to better reflect what it is like to live with chronic illness. To create this home structure, I began by impressing the pattern of a standard hospital gown onto silk that has been dipped in beeswax—a process that imbues the material with an eerie flesh-like quality. The sound emanating from the house, reminiscent of a quick and labored breath, is taken from an idling MRI machine. In stark contrast to the uneasy sensorial aspects of this installation, an opportunity for wellness prevails through this home’s pleasant beeswax aroma. Recalling the bygone medicinal practice of curative miasma, this fragrant house eases an otherwise overly anxious atmosphere. As fretful light and sound fill the room, this scent is also an expansion of the body whose honey perfume seeks healing in a communal space of sharing and caretaking.
Darian Goldin Stahl is an American printmaker, bookmaker, and installation artist currently residing in Canada. Her arts-based research focuses on the health humanities, patient narrative, and chronic illness. Darian’s project for her PhD studies at Concordia University, LIVED SCANS, is a collaborative cycle of informing and reconstructing illness identity with her sister, Devan Stahl, who is a Clinical Bioethicist at Michigan State University and has multiple sclerosis. Together, the Stahl sisters create artwork on what it is like to live with chronic illness on a daily basis, and investigate how lived experience can be expressed through the visual medium of printmaking. Darian is a participating artist in the Vibrations exhibition of VIBE, exploring the use of vibrational media from VibraFusionLab in her work.