If you pop along to NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula this month, you’ll see a stunning display of 10,000 fresh irises suspended with copper wire, which will appear to float within the space.
Created by British artist Rebecca Louise Law, who is known for her use of organic material in a “sculptural and painterly fashion”, the palette of vibrant blue, purple, yellow and white irises have literally taken over the gallery.
The undulating silhouette of the work is visible from outside and on the approach to the building. But it won’t be until you enter the space that it becomes apparent that these fresh flowers are forever changing, as their petals dry out and their shapes change.
“I like to capture and cherish small beautiful natural objects to create an artwork that can be observed without the pressure of time,” explains Rebecca. “Preserving, treasuring, celebrating and sharing the beauty of the Earth with the world is what drives me.”
Inspired by the land that the NOW Gallery sits on, once a wetland of tidal marshes previously known as ‘Bugsby’s’ and ‘Greenwich Marsh’, Rebecca’s research for the artwork involved walking along the banks of the Peninsula, plucking a marsh reed and taking it to her studio. She was interested in working with this whimsical plant but the pollen that came off just one was too great to make reeds into an installation. The essence of this land remains today, presented through Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and Common Reed planting along the Thames River Path.
After looking into this history and researching native marshland plants, Rebecca decided she wanted to create an installation that embraces the present and the past, while immersing the viewer in nature.
You can see The Iris by Rebecca Louise Law from 3 March until 7 May 2017 at NOW Gallery at Greenwich Peninsula (North Greenwich). All photography by Charles Emerson.