Bloom – Borrowed Blog

March 14, 2012

I had to share this post from http://www.thisiscolossal.com                                                                                                                                    What a beautiful tribute those who traveled these halls. Love it, so pretty.

In 2003 a building housing the Massachusetts Mental Health Center (MMHC) was slated for demolition to make way for updated facilities. The closure was a time for reflection and remembrance as the MMHC had been in operation for over 9 decades and had touched countless thousands of patients and employees alike, and the pending demolition presented a unique problem. How does one memorialize a building impossibly rich with a history of both hope and sadness, and do it in a way that reflects not only the past but also the future? And could this memorial be open to the public, not as a speech, or series of informational plaques, but as an experience worthy of they building’s unique story?

To answer that question artist Anna Schuleit was commissioned to do the impossible. After an initial tour of the facility she was struck not with what she saw but with what she didn’t see: the presence of life and color. While historically a place of healing, the drab interior, worn hallways, and dull paint needed a respectful infusion of hope. With a limited budget and only three months of planning Schuleit and an enormous team of volunteers executed a massive public art installation called Bloom. The concept was simple but absolutely immense in scale. Nearly 28,000 potted flowers would fill almost every square foot of the MMHC including corridors, stairwells, offices and even a swimming pool, all of it brought to life with a sea of blooms. The public was then invited for a limited 4-day viewing as a time for needed reflection and rebirth.

Perhaps no single installation or piece of art seen on Colossal has touched me more deeply than Bloom. After learning about it for the first time a few weeks ago I decided to reach out to Anna and ask if she might be willing to share some photos and information about the genesis and execution of such an incredible installation.

Please visit www.thisiscolossal.com for the original post, an interview with the artist and more images.

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