A huge turkish inspired flower carpet, a monoculture flower installation, exhibitions that stretch the wonderful world of plant art, and a good old british flower market. August is looking good.
1. Poppy at Guildhall Library
The talent of flower installation artist Rebecca Louise Law was fully on show this year at The Garden Museum’s Garden and Fashion Exhibition, producing a floral display that was both incredible and enchanting in equal measure. It will be interesting to see what she can do this time with a single species and an artificial one at that. Thousands of paper poppies will be ‘forming a floral sky reaching to the floor, encouraging viewers to consider what the poppy represents and to pick a flower.’ With all proceeds going to the Royal British Legion it’s definitely worth a visit.
Poppy runs from 4 August to 12 November.
What can she do with these?
2. Brussels’ Flower Carpet
Many cultures have traditions of creating patterns on the floor using flowers – the Indian art form of Rangoli comes to mind – but not so many do it on such a grand scale as this. The Flower Carpet on the Grand-Place of Brussels will this year include 1,800 m2 of begonias. The design itself will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Turkish immigration in Belgium by paying homage to the geometric patterns of Turkey’s famous tapestry-woven carpets called kilims. The use of begonias derives from the fact that Belgium has quite a lot of them. This predominantly native West Indian and South American plant has been grown in the Ghent area since 1860 and now accounts for around 80% of the world supply. It will be short-lived, fragrant, floral and big. It has to be seen.
The carpet runs from 14 to 17 August.
A previous year’s carpet
3. John Fontcuberta: Stranger Than Fiction
Currently running at the Science Museum this exhibition by award-winning Barcelona conceptural artist and photographer Fontcuberta sounds rather surreal and rather intriguing. Allegedly ‘Flora and Fauna’ sections offer up ‘new’ species like the one shown below, and we all know there is nothing as exciting as a new species. The exhibition’s narratives are listed as “Fauna, Herbarium, Orogenesis, Constellations, Sirens and Karelia.” After looking up at least two of these we have concluded it’s quite the combination. This mix, plus anything that uses plants for inspiration, even if it ends up baring no real resemblance to the living versions, is worth checking out.
Stranger than Fiction runs until Nov 9.
It’s a Monarda sharkia isn’t it?
4. Columbia Road Flower Market
It’s not beginning or ending in August but in the lovely summer months, when London is at its best, it’s the ideal time to visit. Spending your Sunday morning (from 8am) mooching past plants, listening to really lively stall holders and immersing yourself in the sunday supplementesque neighbourhood, full of posturing well-dressed clientele holding bunches of Gladioli and Hydrangeas, is a satisfying thing to do. Cut flowers, garden plants, seeds, trees – it has the lot. Earlier in the morning is best, but later in the day may be better for bargains.
Columbia Road is located in East London, in between Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, near to Brick Lane and Spitalfields.
5. Botech Compositions by Macoto Murayama
Murayama goes from dissected flowers to computer generated 2D and now 3D art works. No-one is really doing this kind of thing – offering compositions that have both anatomical plant detail coupled with aesthetic value – to the level and extent he currently is. At a recent event at the Japan Foundation in London a panel discussed the usefulness of his work to science relative to that of traditional botanical art. Murayam’s flowers do show more detail inside the plant, but it comes at the expense of the energy outside of the plant. That’s not to say Murayam’s art works lack energy, because they are full of it, it’s just not in that particular way that can help us identify and record a plant. Science aside, for the plant lover, it’s great art though.
Produced by Metal Culture it runs until 26 October at Edge Hill Station, Tunnel Road, Liverpool