Humans of the U: Griffin Hale

“I was inspired by the experience of being a caregiver for my mom, who has cancer. This project [a hand-built structure large enough to step into made of recycled clay placed behind the Huntsman Cancer Hospital] was inspired by an experience that I had looking at my mom through a window and waving at her, and she didn’t notice. At that moment I realized my bystander role in watching as these events unfold.

Building this project was very healing for me. It allowed me to express and open up about feelings I didn’t know I was struggling with. I’m hoping that people can relate to, and potentially recognize a similar experience that they’re going through as a caregiver when looking at or experiencing this piece. The piece put into perspective the experience of being a bystander, watching from afar, the wrath that cancer can have on people or their loved ones.

In the midst of treatment and ups and downs in health, this gives us an opportunity to come closer together, strengthen our bonds and love one another more fully. The strong and sturdy clay bricks depict the unmoving, determination and defiance in the caregiver. Despite all of the horrible destruction that cancer itself causes we as caregivers are unmoving and that is the experience I hope to depict and for so many people to relate to.”

—Griffin Hale, ceramics major