Full Bloom

It’s April 4th and yes, it is snowing here. Snow all around, as if it was Christmas and is it was never to stop. We are all literally dieing for some fresh spring air, some warm sunlight, nature coming back to life…hopefully, it will be soon.

In the meantime, maybe this post will provoke spring in some way?

Bloom was an installation by an artist Anna Schuleit created in the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, USA.
Here’s the entire story of this action I found and I think is worth reading in its entirety.

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.


The basement of the building was covered with 5,600square feet of live sod, which was raked and watered throughout the day, and continued to grow. Photo by John Gray.


The connecting hallway between the historic part of MMHC and the research annex was covered in blue African Violets. Photo by John Gray.
Orange begonias leading to the doctor’s offices. BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-orange-Tulips
Treatment rooms on the first floor, with orange tulips. BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-Pink-Heather
Pink Heather in one of the patients’ waiting rooms. These flowers had traveled the farthest to be part of ‘Bloom’—from California. BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-Red-Mums-640x920
Red Regina Mums in the hallway that was the last one to close—it used to be one of the busiest homeless shelters in Boston. BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-Tiny-Office-with-Tulips
One of the tiny offices on the third floor, with orange tulips at mid-day. BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-White-Mums
One of the longest axes of the building: white mums and orange tulips on the first floor BLOOM-by-Anna-Schuleit-White-Tulips The Child Psychiatry unit with white tulips.
The Child Psychiatry unit with white tulips. Photo by John Gray.

Via thisiscolossal.com. You can also read a vast Q&A with the artists here.

This entry was posted in architecture, colour, nature, travels and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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