After Polly Collins
After Polly Collins pays tribute to the Shaker religious community that settled near the site of Albany International Airport in the late 18thcentury. Shakers lived communally and are remembered for their industrious and celibate lives. They are renowned for simple furniture design, light-filled architecture and the invention of the flat broom. The airport is built on their former agricultural fields and some surviving buildings nearby make up the Shaker Heritage Society.
After Polly Collinswas inspired by a gift drawing made by Polly Collins (1808-1884), a member of a community in nearby Hancock, Massachusetts. Gift Drawings were made only by particular Shakers who had experienced spiritual revelations. And although the Shakers lived in spare and unadorned clothing and interiors, their gift drawings could be exuberantly colorful and were kept only for occasional private display.
This version of the floral wreath from the Polly Collins drawing is rendered in lightweight colorful acrylic beads held together with clear chenille stems. These beaded constructions are based on 19thand 20thcentury beaded flowers made by hobbyists with origins in Europe. The flowers are affixed to a steel armature.
The wreath measures approximately 9 feet in diameter and is suspended in a light well midway down Concourse B at the Albany International Airport through 2022.