This September is a special month for viewing en masse flower displays – artificial, cultivated and wild – it has them all. If that was not enough, a couple of new exhibitions are underway.
Horst – Photographer of Style, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Although most famous for haute couture imagery, Horst P. Horst (1906-1999), the German-American fashion photographer, also drew inspiration from nature. Influenced by the great Karl Blossfeldt he found organic form fascinating. Expect flowers and plants to feature in among the corsets at this retrospective of his work. Runs 6 September to 4 January 2015.
Patterns from Nature, photographic collage c.1945
The blooming of Namaqualand, South Africa
The flowers found in this kaleidoscopic, species rich, brilliant and dazzlingly display of floral wonder are like messengers from another realm. Blooming now in the North West region of South Africa, but not for long, it’s time to plot your visit to this landscape of ultra ethereal and transient beauty. If not now then when? Inspiration awaits for all artists in this unique plant region of the world. For photographers Plant Curator recommends the yearly workshops run by the wonderful artist and writer Freeman Patterson.
Flowering carpets as far as the eye can see
Inspiring Kew Exhibition, Kew Gardens, London
As well as other artworks from Kew’s extensive botanical art archives, this is a chance to once again see Rachel Pedder-Smith’s gigantic botanical artwork Herbarium Specimen Painting. Shown as a whole for the first time since 2012. Runs until Feb 2015
Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red, Tower of London
The second poppy installation event in the last two months and the first of two cultivated en masse flower displays this September in the UK. One is blooming now, albeit stiffly, and the other is at the planting stage (see below). If you haven’t yet made it to the Tower of London then go this month as this spectacular and moving artwork is best viewed on a sunny day, from above and at a distance on Petty Wales road. The creation of artist Paul Cummins, handcrafted poppies with ceramic heads and two-foot tall metal stems have been, and continue to be, planted in the ground around the outside of the Tower. By Armistice Day on November 11, there will be 888, 246 of them, a number which matches the death toll of British and colonial soldiers, sailors or airmen in the First World War.
Snowdrop City Week, Manchester
The National Trust is doing its own bit to mark the centenary of WWI by planting 100,000 snowdrop bulbs in designated gardens around Manchester. From Saturday 13 to Sunday 21 anyone has the chance to be a ‘Snowdrop Champion’, just drop by and plant a bulb or two. Flowers symbolise peace and hope, attract the bees (the real ones at least) and make us feel good. Snowdrops are due to flower in Spring 2015 and every year from then on.