Client: Penn State Hampden Hospital Medical Center
Location: Harrisburg, PA, United States
Completion date: 2021
Artwork budget: $20,000
These 6 images emerged from my photographic journey by kayak – brushing, stroking and swirling the surface of the water with my paddle as an artist draws a brush or pencil across the surface of a canvas. These fluid gestures were spontaneous drawings I made on the water and captured with my camera.FLOURISHING I-VI are part of a larger series entitled “Stirring the Waters” in which I photographed a 1 mile stretch of the Farm River in my kayak. My intention was to visualize a reciprocal exchange between currents in me and the moving water – to make visible ways in which humans are both shaped by, and shaping, nature. This sequence depicts aspects of this choreography and dance with nature… being touched by, and responding to, the aliveness that ebbs and flows between, and within us.
This artwork was designed for a transitional space, the interior lobby where patients, staff and caregivers travel to and from appointments. I wanted to emphasize the feeling of flow, of being transported on a healing journey, similar to the feeling I have in my kayak when I am photographing. Cummings is known for artwork that expands the viewer’s perceptual awareness through immersive images that reveal the interaction of light on water - and blur the boundaries between drawing and painting, sculpture and photography, light and sound.
All 6 images in the grid are non-manipulated, full-frame digital photographs captured while kayaking in a tidal estuary of the Long Island Sound, NY. The photographs were printed as individual 4.5-ft (h) x 3-ft (w) moxie panels that form a grid 9-ft x 10-ft. To highlight a sense of floating on the surface of the water, the grid was illuminated around the edge with a thin line of LED lighting. The ceiling above, and floor below the photographic grid are finished in warm deep earth tones to accentuate the experience of gentle movement and flow – as if being safely transported along one’s healing journey.
Growing up in the foothills of the Poconos and Hawk Mountain, Cummings’ early life was awash in the sweetness of Pennsylvania’s streams and fertile fields that stretched across the horizon like rivers of green and gold. Her early photographic career was forged working as an industrial photographer at Mack Trucks in Allentown, PA. Cummings is currently on the faculty of the International Center of Photography in NYC. Cummings is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards from prominent art institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and Yaddo. Cummings’ photographs have been featured in BLIND SPOT and the “Director’s Cut” of APERTURE. Her work has been widely exhibited in private and public collections, notably: The Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY; Musee Jenisch, Vevey, Switzerland.