Flowers and Familiarity Key to Healing with Art

By Kurt Johnson Photography • October 2, 2022

A unique flower growing in Austin Texas shifts from gradients of red to orange and yellow with thin strands extending from its center.

A new camera, the open road, and the beauty of Austin botanicals.  Those are the things that came together to create my recent portfolio of flower images as I traveled through sunny Austin, Texas.

Bright yellow flowers are barely visible through a dreamy blurred group of bright green leaves in this hidden spot of Austin Texas.

I wasn’t there long but enjoyed the vibrant colors and luscious growth of Austin’s warm climate. And of course, I couldn’t stop myself from photographing all the beauty I found there – so I could add even more healing nature photographs to my image catalog that serves to improve healing with art.  The beauty of digital is the endless storage space, right?

I also needed an excuse to bust out my Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format camera and get a feel for what it could do.  And at 100 megapixels per frame, it can do a lot!  I was impressed with the stunning image quality. I love using a camera that can keep up with my vision for large-scale landscapes and exploding tiny details I find in nature.

Lush, healthy flowers are considered one of the main themes for healing with art according to a study by researchers Ulrich and Gilpin (Healing Arts: Nutrition for the Soul 2003), and it’s easy to see why.

Watching something beautiful grow brings a sense of hope and well-being to the viewer, which is why flower images are often seen in hospitals.  Flower images are also a common choice for cancer treatment centers.

Bold colors and unique floral patterns are hard to look away from, and their delicate intricacies allow viewers to get lost in the many unique details of the images.

As someone who is easily distracted by wildflowers on the side of the road, I get it. Healing with art is something that lives in my bones and is at the core of what I do every day.

Including photographs of local flowers and plant life also adds a sense of familiarity to the images and therefore increases the comfort patients feel viewing them.

In a recent article, Viewing a Flower Image Provides Automatic Recovery Effects After Psychological Stress (2020 Journal of Environmental Psychology), the title speaks for itself.  But to emphasize their findings, researchers of the article concluded, “ Viewing a flower image reduced negative emotion, blood pressure and cortisol release.”

Important research for all healthcare facilities to consider when choosing artwork for their hospital or clinic.

So even though I may not be in a specific location long, I always make time to get out, walk around, talk to the locals (they usually know the best spots), and capture the beauty I see in the area – no matter where it is.

Because healing with art never gets old.

Incorporating healing nature images in healthcare environments is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to improve patient outcomes.  So why wouldn’t you want the artwork in your healthcare facility to be part of your care team?

Reach out so we can help you realize your vision of healing.

Categories: Healing, Photography, Travel

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