Client: Alexian Brothers Health System
Location: Hoffman Estates, IL, United States
Completion date: 2014
Artwork budget: $105,000
Bloom is a group of fourteen colorful kinetic sculptures commissioned to transform the entrance stairwell at Alexian Brothers Women and Children’s Hospital into a welcoming environment for young patients. Composed of vibrantly colored petals, the sculptures evoke child-like representations of flowers and stand out against the glass atrium setting. The monumental scale of the installation creates a sense of wonder for all visitors as the artwork immerses them in an oversized garden.
The goal was to make patients feel comfortable the moment they entered the hospital by replacing the clinical atmosphere with a moment of optimism and cheer. The artists commissioned to create Bloom, Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, of Creative Machines Inc. in Tucson, Ariz., say they hope it will help young patients and visitors “find comfort and reassurance in the hospital setting.” The sculpture “celebrates life and the impulse to enjoy it.”
Commissioned through a donation from Claire’s Stores, Inc., the large-scale, kinetic sculpture in the hospital’s lobby features flowerlike forms and includes a control dock at youngsters’ height to allow them to move the forms without touching them. A recognition plaque thanking Claire’s has been positioned near the sculpture. The plaque includes a quote that reads: “Children are like flowers, water them daily with love and watch them bloom.” Claire’s Stores, Inc. is one of the world’s leading specialty retailers of fashionable jewelry and accessories for young women, teens, tweens, and kids. The company’s vision is to inspire girls and women around the world to become their best selves by providing products and experiences that empower them to express their own unique individual styles.
Medium: colored acrylic, stainless steel, electronics / Dimensions: 5’ x 7’ x 2’ – 14 total