Mary Carothers: Air Loom

Air Loom was based on a commission Carothers completed called Floating Seeds for a new hospital in Owensboro, KY. A nationally juried competition, the Commission of Design and Architecture (COD+A) also designated her installation in the top three national health care commissions in the last three years.

Taking cues from the area’s local ecology and community members Carothers made connections between the hospital’s leading plant-based medical research and the fact that the facility now occupies what was once a farm. Also on the grounds was a WWII airplane hanger and Carothers connected it with the region’s importance as a migration flyway for birds. Acknowledging the theme of hope and healing, coupled with flight and agriculture, Carothers sculpturally addressed the concept of floating seeds, not unlike those one might blow off of a dandelion, and involved the Owensboro community, holding seed collections and archiving written stories over a six month period. By incorporating the inclusive efforts of others Carothers blurs the boundaries of authorship, allowing the work to make a far more genuine connection to the landscape, the people who live upon it and the changing audience that experiences the installation on a daily basis.

Following the reception for the installation on January 20, Carothers gave a lecture on her work in the Black Box Theatre, where she explained her concept for the commission as well as her many community engaged projects.

3 full of seeds pods1