Patch spoke with Lorraine Imwold, the local artist responsible for the genius bedpan installation on display in the windows of the American Medical Equipment company on Frederick Road. Ms. Imwold was a good sport and put up with Patch's inane questions.
Catonsville Patch: What is your profession?
Lorraine Imwold: Currently I am an unemployed independent artist.
Patch: How did you come to be involved with the window display
at American Medical Equipment?
LI: I joined the Catonsville Arts Guild and was introduced to . I had a brainstorming session talking about ways to bring art to Frederick Road. One window display that came to mind was that of the American Medical Equipment windows. The display was not arranged in a way that
was attractive to the eye and we thought we could really do something with such a large window space.
So I went in with a friend and spoke to the owner and offered the idea of having artists from the community design a window display for them.
I designed some collage pitch pages (a proposal of sorts) and the owner chose two designs. Dawn Kearney of Kearney Photography did the photography for the design.
The owner covered art supplies, but we artists volunteered our time and covered the additional costs needed to complete the project.
For some time we had a sign in the window explaining the mission of Create in 21228, as well as a promotional ad for Kierney photography. It’s not there at the present time.
Patch: What experience do you bring to this particular installation?
LI: I have a background in theater arts and stage design. I am
well acquainted with whimsical design.
Patch: Why bedpans? Why not suppositories, or rectal thermometers?
LI: The original window displays at American Medical Equipment were items that weren’t aesthetically pleasing. Plastic bedpans were not initially attractive but when I painted them silver they adopted a silver, sort of chrome, effect. When suspended they became almost like a flock of beautiful silver flying bedpans.
It turns out the display window has a small leak. This gave an unexpected positive dimension to the work- when it rains dripping water causes the bedpans to move more, really revealing the true kinetic nature of the display.
Patch: Do you have personal experience with bedpans?
LI: No I do not have personal experience with bedpans.
Patch: How does this installation speak to you?
LI: It’s about being fun and seeing things differently. It’s a very serious business that this shop does, and people are generally not happy when having to use a walker or a bedpan. But life doesn’t always have to be quite
so serious, and I hope this display provides a bit of whimsy.
Patch: What’s next for you?
LI: I’m marketing a series of art: 26 pieces representing the alphabet. My sister just had her second child and she wanted a room design that would extend longer than the next few years.
I have carved a block print for each letter mimicking children’s alphabet blocks but using subject matter that transcends childhood.
Again, it’s about having fun and being lighthearted but being practical as well.
Readers are highly encouraged to visit Ms. Imwold's artwork on display at Sam's Bagels, 730 Frederick Road, through the beginning of June.