Who? Floral artist Rebecca Louise Law is perhaps best known for her collaborations with fashion houses Hermès and Mulberry, but the large-scale floral installations she has made her name with all stem from one field: the carpet of oxeye daisies her father, a gardener, excitedly drove his family to see one afternoon. The young Law remembers just sitting in it; wondering how such a moment, such total immersion in nature, could ever be recreated.
She went on to study Fine Art at Newcastle University and, growing tired of working in 2D, began experimenting with 3D materials – wool, food, sweets. She was obsessed with colour. For her final piece, she begged her father to donate the dahlias from his nursery garden, after which she suspended them from the exhibition space’s ceiling. "Suddenly it wasn’t just about colour," she recalls for AnOther. "It was about experiencing nature. And it was also about respecting nature and preserving nature in that suspended time. There were so many complexities to the work that I was suddenly blown away by what the world had opened up to me, and how little I knew about it. Ever since then, I’ve been experimenting."
What? Law creates installations made from one material: flowers. Sourced from across the world, though often from Covent Garden Market, or Holland – each one is individually sewn with copper wire, and hung alongside an abundance of others, forming phenomenal live and dry installations.
This week, the artist has debuts her first outdoor installation for the West End shopping district St Christopher’s Place, a London-based hub of boutiques, bars and, in the summer, al fresco dining. With the simple idea of 'the arrival of spring' at its core, her artwork will feature Peony Roses – a prevalent symbol of the season – alongside complementary blooms, rigged above the pedestrianised street. "Most of my installations nowadays are made to last forever within the space… [so] it’s really fun to have the chance to work with flowers outside in the elements, to see what happens," she says. "[Just] allowing nature to take its course."
Why? Law is fascinated by the materiality of flowers, and in particular the fact that, ephemeral though they appear, there is a permanency to them. As they slowly deteriorate and decay, they leave behind ‘skeletons’; forms that can, in the right conditions, remain in place forever. Through her work the artist hopes to bring people closer to nature, especially in urban areas; enabling visitors to find a moment of pure peacefulness, such as the one she felt amidst the daisies.
Rebecca Louise Law’s 'Celebration of Spring' installation is on display from March 16-21, 216, in St Christopher’s Place, London.