Associate Professor at the School of Art & Design at the University of Michigan, Anne Mondro is not your average crocheter. Instead of wool, she carries a thin 26-gauge tinned copper wire. Using the wire and a pair of crochet needles, she built sculptural forms in the shape of anatomical hearts. Anne spent about a year researching the anatomy of the heart, even spending time in the UM anatomy lab and using 3D modeling software to figure out how to create the forms with her crochet needles. No simple pattern indeed!
Anne says about the work,
“This piece is very personal. I’ve been working with older adults with memory loss and their caregivers. It’s so intense to be a caregiver. When you care for a loved one, the two of you become intertwined. You take on their vulnerabilities but also their strengths. As I thought about that relationship, it was important that these forms be tied together somehow.”
In 2006, she developed a community engagement course titled Retaining Identity: the role of creativity in the healthcare setting where art and design students partner with persons with dementia. The course works with the UM Geriatric Center and explores the potential of art to lift the human spirit in times of illness.