Floating Seeds Installation Celebrates Art and Agriculture at Owensboro Medical Health System
When you enter the lobby of the newly constructed Owensboro Medical Health System, be sure to keep your head up. You won’t want to miss the extraordinary sculpture suspended in the atrium – a collection of more than 600 floating seeds that represent stories of hope and healing…art and agriculture.
Local artist Mary Carothers worked closely with DAS and the hospital art committee to create the sculpture. Owensboro community members were invited to participate in the project by telling their story and casting their own seeds in resin pods at the Joe Ford Nature Center and other locations around town. The cast seeds were later attached to fiber optic umbrella-like structures and suspended individually as elements of a sculpture that mimics the path of seeds as they float through the air. The sculpture includes mustard, soybean, tobacco, and pumpkin seeds, along with coffee beans, daisy, chia and many other seeds from local gardens, each with its own story of importance.
Community members were also able to share their stories, explaining the significance behind each chosen seed. Each seed held a personal meaning, many of which will be documented in a photography book about the project. The seeds themselves symbolize growth, renewal and the potential for change. Each completed floating seed sculpture suggests an individual wish, hope or prayer. Together, the hundreds form a mass to represent the hopes and prayers of a community.
In the daylight, the floating seed sculptures glisten in the naturally changing light. At nighttime, the seed pods shine with fiber optic lights as they dance across the lobby ceiling to the sounds of specially commissioned orchestra music.
The Floating Seeds Installation is a tribute to the people and landscape surrounding the hospital, and an artful nod to plant-based pharmaceutical research at OMHS that is leading to medical breakthroughs for the community. The region surrounding OMHS has a rich agricultural history. In fact, the new OMHS hospital is situated on 160 acres of Pleasant Valley property that was once a soybean farm and sits along a popular bird migration path. From the hospital property, you can view the Ohio River, which served as the inspiration for the movement of the seed sculpture along a suspended path in the atrium.