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aluminum, epoxy paint
Client: City of Kelowna
Location: Kelowna Community Health Centre, 505 Doyle Ave, Kelowna B.C.

Celebrating hidden systems

To wish someone good health, we often give them flowers. The custom exists in a wide variety of cultures: flowers are a nigh-universal symbol for “get well soon.”


A flower, we should point out, is only a single part of a living plant system. We often think of the flower to the exclusion of leaves and buds pruned away from its stem structure, and separated entirely from its root structure.

The health of the flower is, like the health of a human being, dependent on all of its systems. As our doctors, medical practitioners and patients alike recognize our health as the product of a holistic system, it is incumbent that we all look deeper -- that we try to recognize the unseen systems and structures that feed our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

Our artwork is a way to bring flowers to the visitors, patients, and staff of the Kelowna Health Services Centre every day. However, we want to change the way we see this symbol, the same way that healthcare practitioners are changing the way we see the recovery and wellness. So we turn the flower upside-down, placing the essential root structure at the top. It’s a way to preserve the elegance and beauty of the flower, while also hilighting the unseen systems that make it possible.

This calla lilly plant, presented in full bloom, with its roots celebrated at the top of the sculpture is a metaphor for a contemporary approach to healthcare, a celebration of the people who underpin our healthcare system, and a traditional gesture of hope and optimism for everyone entering the building.

Photo credit: Daniel Jones

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