With an installation of ten thousand flowers, the springy vibe is flourishing at NOW Gallery, and as a massive flower child, I had to pay a visit.
‘The Iris’ consist of 10,000 fresh irises suspended on copper wire and hung from the ceiling, so that they appear to be floating within the gallery space. The entire space is also coloured by the change of light in the room, depending on the time and day of your visit. On the (rare) sunny day, when I visited, the gallery provided the perfect canvas.
Known for her work with organic material, Rebecca Louise Law walked along the banks of the Greenwich Peninsula as a part of her research. Law discovered that the land that the NOW Gallery sits on was once a wetland of tidal marshes, previously known as Bugsby’s and Greenwich Marsh. Looking into the history and researching marshland plants, she came up with this installation, which embraces the present and the past.
A colour pallet of complementary contrasts is to found in the vibrant purple irises against the yellow ones, drawing allusions to impressionistic and post-impressionistic work, most famously exemplified in the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.
His most vital canvases work blue and indigo into the pallet against bright yellow and orange tones, making the colours stand out more dynamic against each other. “There are colours that make each other shine, that make a couple, complete each other like man and wife,” Vincent wrote to his sister Willemien in 1888, and over a hundred years later, those same colours are still put up against each other to shine and complete each other in modern art.
The installation plays on contrasts on many levels, not only though the pallet of colours but also through the surroundings. The experience of nature is rare within the concrete metropolis, and the fragility of the flowers evokes a sense of sacred beauty that we seldom experience these days.
Walking into the gallery space and seeing the flowers descending down towards you, documenting the brutal and inevitable passage of time, is itself a powerful statement. The fact that the flowers will hang there for almost two months gives the exhibit more than one dimension. The work will constantly evolve as nature takes its course, offering an alternative concept of beauty which embraces both preservation and decay.
‘I like to capture and cherish small beautiful natural objects to create an artwork that can be observed without the pressure of time. Preserving, treasuring, celebrating and sharing the beauty of the Earth with the world is what drives me.” – Rebecca Louise Law.
Through the cascades of irises, Law has definitely achieved her artistic vision. The spirit of cherishing nature, is something we all need more of in the fast pace of the urban life.
The Iris’ by Rebecca Louise Law will be up at Now Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula from 3 March until 7 May 7.