This isn’t new work, in fact this installation was created in 2003, but I just discovered it and thought I’d share this remarkable achievement. Artist Anna Schuleit created the project, Bloom, to create a “community remembrance in honor of the former life of the Massachusetts Mental Health Center, a building that has continuously operated for 91 years. It was an installation that would allow former patients, employees, staff, students, and the public to re-visit the building before it’s closing.”
Bloom is a reflection on the healing symbolism of flowers being given to the sick when they are bedridden and confined to hospital settings, with the astounding, persistent exception of long-term psychiatric patients, who receive few, if any flowers during their hospital stays. Walking through the hallways of an institution, still to this day, one cannot find any flowers in the rooms. Bloom is created in the spirit of offering and transition.
Bloom encompassed thousands of square feet of historic indoor space that was being left to abandonment. Bloom existed only for four days. Afterwards all the flowers were donated to surrounding hospitals, state institutions, half-way houses, and shelters.
Anna has been a fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Bogliasco, Blue Mountain Center, The Hermitage, Yaddo, Banff, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, and a visiting artist / guest lecturer at Brown University, MIT, Smith College, Harvard, The New School, Brandeis, University of Michigan, McGill, RISD, Boston University, Pratt, Bowdoin, and Syracuse University. In 2006 she was named a MacArthur Fellow.