For her evocation of a sanctuary space, In bloom at the end of the world, Angela U. Drakeford calls forth stillness and rest.
With books, comfortable seating, bird song recordings, and an abundance of plants that fill the gallery, Drakeford prioritizes an atmosphere that allows for processing grief of all kinds—including loss of memories, cultural traditions, and communal support.
In bloom at the end of the world will be on view during colder months, when gray skies and dormant outdoor plants can be seen through the windows of the Glass Gallery, where Drakeford’s immersive installation resides. The strong contrast between the outdoor surroundings and the inviting interior acts as a reminder for the warmth and growth to come—both environmentally and personally. The promise of this comfort stimulated by nature and prioritizing wellbeing, however, requires time to witness the processes of rejuvenation.
Drakeford will lead a series of workshops at JMKAC focusing on tending to plants and grief (view artist page below for details). Attendees will be guided in cultivating their own awareness of changes in themselves as well as in plants that surround them every day. Workshops will include exploring processes of wellness, communication, and self-love as they too grow and form roots. Therapeutic groups will also be invited to meet in the gallery to discuss death and strategies to understand loss.
In bloom at the end of the world is part of JMKAC’s Ways of Being theme, wherein artists ask, “What if?” Through the interplay of invitation and engagement, Drakeford posits, “What if we took respite?”
Image: Angela U. Drakeford: In bloom at the end of the world installation view at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center, 2022