28,000 Flowers @ Massachusetts Mental Health Center by Anna Schuleit, circa 2003Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 14 Mar 2012
We just read a wonderful interview with Anna Schuleit, who in 2003 created Bloom, an installation in the Massachusetts Mental Health Center that involved 28,000 flowers. Schuleit, when commissioned to work within a mental health center nearly 100 years old and slated for demolition, notes "I was hoping to create a work that would bring aspects of play into the seriousness of the institution, an element of the absurd."
ThisIsColossal notes, "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."
Schuleit says, "It would have been infinitely easier to work with just a few hundred flowers, or a few thousand even, but I wanted to reach my goal of twenty-eight thousand, because it had occurred to me at the beginning of the project that that was the minimum number that was missing here. If it had been a project merely for photography, we wouldn’t have needed so many. But it was really a project for the passing visitor, someone coming in, in real time, from the street and finding this sea of color inside the building, and throughout. A multitude of greetings on every floor. Really, simply, a work of the imagination. That’s all I hoped for. I was amazed by how many people wandered through the building on those four days."