Comfort In Case of Emergency

Garments in case of an Emergency

Permindar Kaur

Fortunately I have so far only been in a hospital as a visitor. I remember these visits primarily for the amount of time spent standing and sitting around waiting. I wanted to make a work that reflected on this. Something that would temporarily take the visitor’s mind away from what they are doing in the hospital, but at the same be very much connected to being in a hospital.

The work consists of 4 brightly coloured garments made from a soft blanket like material. Each is placed in white steel cabinets around the hospital.

The fuchsia pink dress has a large blanket made from the same material folded onto its back. It is in case the wearer suddenly feels tired and needs to sleep right there and then – wherever they are. It is comforting to know that they can undo the buckles and wrap themselves up snugly.

The salmon coloured dress has four small blankets strapped with metal buckles onto it’s front. It is a strange garment, the small blankets look comforting, but they are too small to have any real use. They can neither clean nor protect a wound. Perhaps they console the wearer on a more spiritual level.

The lime green dress carries two large inflatable cylinders. These are to be used in case the wearer has difficulties breathing. They could be life saving but in quite an improbable way. It is about the suggestion of what the bottles could do or provide.

The last and more abstract deep red dress has an inflatable castle strapped to its back. It is about the wearer carrying and showing an imaginary idealistic dream. It is also toy-like, something playful, a distraction from reality.

In the hospital each garment suggests ways of providing an ambiguous and undefined solace for the wearer.

Permindar Kaur.‘Don’t Worry’ Exhibition Catalogue, Chelsea & Westminister hospital, London, England, 2000