Sunday, 13 February 2011

Rachel Levy at Stephanie Hoppen Gallery

I've not mentioned my work (Stephanie Hoppen Gallery) here before, but the current show is my favourite thus far and deserves a post.

French artist Rachel Levy takes the classical genre of flower photography and gives it a unique and modern twist. She photographs flowers that are past their prime: wilting, fading and revealing visible signs of decay. Nonetheless, captured in the last fleeting moments before perishing, they are strikingly beautiful.

She sources the flowers (roses, peonies, irises, tulips) from horticulturalists, not florists, to ensure that they have been exposed to the elements and aged organically. The photographs are printed on cotton paper, which gives them a painterly quality, often looking more like watercolours than digital prints.

Here are a few of my favourites;

Pivoine Lactifolia

Rose Renoir 3
Rose Kronenbourg 2
Rose Charles de Gaulle

and Cuisse de Nymphe - what wonderful name - Nymph's Thigh in english, but also known as 'La Virginale' and 'La Seduisante'.
If only I had a few extra thousand pounds to spare to buy a set of 9 - what a gorgeous wall.

To complement the exhibition we commissioned two pieces by London floral installation artist Rebecca Louise Law. Two antique Victorian wooden chairs have been filled with roses, which over the course of the exhibition are wilting and fading, just like the specimens in the photographs.

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