Soft Spot: An Art Installation at the Lois Hole Hospital for Women in Edmonton, Alberta

by Lindsay Shapka in ,


While walking between buildings at a local hospital (don't worry, I'm fine, was just visiting a friend — who is also fine) I happened to look up and was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a huge yellow beam holding, what looked like, a steel nest over my head. 

I am pretty sure that I startled one of the patients I was passing, as I suddenly pulled out my phone to snap some pictures and then frantically (I was running late) tried to locate some sort of plaque so I could find out what it was and who created it.  

SoftSpot, 2010             Liz Magor and Wendy Coburn

SoftSpot, 2010             Liz Magor and Wendy Coburn

It turns out that the hospital (the Royal Alexandra in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) held a national art competition to find the perfect piece to fill this very courtyard,  and this is the work that won! 

Completed in 2010, SoftSpot is the work of award-winning Canadian artists Liz Magor and Wendy Coburn. It is created out of stainless steel ribbon and a solid steel beam (as I had guessed) and, according to the plaque, it won because of how it "twists, tangles and bursts outward with impressive energy." 

The work is placed right outside the entrance to the Lois Hole Hospital for Women (fitting due to the fact that both women tend to create work that comments on the female's role in popular culture) which is chock full of art itself due to the belief that beautiful objects distract, calm and help with healing.