Amy Zucker is a Chicago artist whose installations confront and challenge our cultural notions of what happens to us when we grow old and what it is like to be old. This body of work is informed by a nursing practice with older adults. Amy worked as a registered nurse on an inpatient geriatric psychiatry unit for sixteen years and most recently for four years as a geriatric case manager in the community. The art work integrates patient care experiences with the incongruous one dimensional picture that our culture paints when describing the elderly. It is the absurdities of these ideas that fuel the art work.
Themes in each interactive environment originate from ageist prejudice/ageism. These installations offer a visual representation of those stereotypes. The end result attempts to playfully challenge the viewer to experience the falsities of their beliefs as well as encouraging a more thoughtful invitation to compare personal experiences with older family members or friends. By changing the focus inward, the viewer may be reminded of the enriching impact that older adults may have had in their lives.
Throughout the sculptural process, the personality of each figure takes form. Each one embodies a certain kind of charm and complexity of structure that speaks to the depth of each of the older adults that I have come to know. The process of creating each figure parallels the nursing process of mending and putting people back together both physically and mentally.