Donated Artwork Helps ‘Humanize’ Hospital Environment

126-13-01A new sculpture recently installed in the garden courtyard on Memorial’s lower level is the first of several pieces that the donor hopes will help enhance and humanize the hospital environment for patients and their guests.

Titled “Modern Woman” by the late Zimbabwean sculptor Lameck Bonjisi, the sculpture is 7 feet tall and weighs about 1,400 pounds. It was hand-carved from springstone, a hard rock mined in Zimbabwe that polishes to a high shine because of its density. Bonjisi, who died in 2004 at age 30, was a member of the Shona, a group of tribes in Africa recognized for more than 2,000 years for their hand-crafted stone artwork.

The sculpture is a donation of Dr. Richard Bilinsky, a retired nephrologist who practiced at Memorial for many years, and his wife, Bette, in memory of their parents, Bernard and Phyllis Bilinsky and Ted and Lois Glatz.

This is the first — and largest — of several Shona stone sculptures, and the only one by Bonjisi, being donated by the Bilinskys to the Memorial Medical Center Foundation. The Bilinskys have partnered with the Foundation previously by displaying other, smaller items from their collection in Memorial’s main lobby, some of which Dr. Bilinsky sculpted himself.

“Collecting works of art we love has provided nourishment for our eyes, hearts and souls,” Dr. Bilinsky said. “Each day, seeing and touching the individual pieces stirs an emotional response that enhances our lives. The longer we have a piece, the more it becomes a part of our lives.  The artist imbues his/her creation with their emotion and then the viewer is free to embellish it with their own emotional reaction. We certainly have experienced that with each of our pieces, and hope that each new viewer will do the same.”