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Floral Installations By Rebecca Louis Lowe: “It's Very Difficult To Work With Material That Is Constantly Dying”
Floral Installations By Rebecca Louis Lowe: “It's Very Difficult To Work With Material That Is Constantly Dying”
Video: Floral Installations By Rebecca Louis Lowe: “It's Very Difficult To Work With Material That Is Constantly Dying”
Video: Suspended Floral Installations by Rebecca Louise Law 2023, February
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Rebecca, the daughter of the head gardener of the National Endowment in London, began his romance with flowers in the attic of a family home in London: but from the children's herbarium to the showcases of Sotheby's, Hermes and Tiffany it takes fifteen years. Several thousand flowers for her graduation work at the University of New Castle Lowe grew, collected and hung on transparent lines by herself. Today, Rebecca has her own studio opposite (where else!) The flower market in East London, there is no end to high-profile clients and volunteers who dream of touching a process that re-legitimizes manual labor as opposed to a technological breakthrough in art. In an exclusive interview with bazaar.ru, an artist with a Pre-Raphaelite appearance spoke about the ideology and technique of her work.

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Rebecca in her studio in London (c) Fabio Affuso

Rebecca, your floral installations are currently on display at Sotheby's, commissioned by big brands like Jo Malone and Jimmy Choo. How did it all begin? What was your first flower job?

I studied painting and print at the University of New Castle, but working with canvases in 2D was chilling and frustrating to me. At the same time, I have never been a sculptor: so I started experimenting with materials and trying to create a three-dimensional picture. After a series of bad experiences with plastic, fabric and food, I finally came up with my sculptural material - living flowers. The complexity of working with such ephemeral material captured me and I really liked the shades that the flowers acquired in the processed form. In 2003, I made my first installation of dahlias, which were grown by my father, the head gardener of the National Trust in Cambridge, England. I still use some of these flowers in my work and continue to use flowers as my main medium.

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Your artwork is created from fresh flowers and is programmed to wilt. How long can such an installation live? Do you process the flowers somehow?

I do not process the flowers in any way, they are kept in the traditional air drying mode. At the moment, the most tenacious of my installations is just my debut Dahlia, and from public installations - Drying Roses, which are about five years old, and now they are exhibited in the London restaurant The Baltic. In fact, the longest lasting flowers are peonies, roses, and dried carnation buds. Natural oils hold the petals together and when placed in the right environment, they can last a very, very long time.

Rebecca Louis Lowe Studio in London (c) Nicola Tree

Are you interested in other mediums besides flowers?

I am a fan of everything natural and I continue to experiment with different components of flora and fauna. Flowers fascinate me because I constantly explore the boundaries of their use. Other natural materials are easier to handle and I find them less challenging and interesting. I also continue to draw and paint in oils, these materials are always with me, although on a less public basis.

People love flowers, that's a fact. But what is more important to you about colors in terms of artistic expression?

The versatility of colors as a material captures me. The main message of my installations is to show the viewer the wonders of nature from a new point of view.

What's the hardest part about working with flowers?

It is very difficult to work with material that is constantly dying.

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In the background: Rebecca's work at Sotheby's London headquarters

What kinds of flowers do you most often work with?

I most often work with cultivated flowers from the region in which I am at the moment. Some of the installations are made from materials from the local area, and I love working with wildflowers. But many of them are rare, protected by the state, so I can't always get enough of them for my large-scale installations.

You are a sixth generation gardener, so you probably know where to get flowers in London. But, working all over the world, where do you find so many flowers in every city?

Each time a lot of time is spent on research, searching for local greenhouses. As a last resort, I have a supplier in Holland who will promptly send any number of flowers anywhere in the world.

Flowers Outside In. 2015 (c) Rebecca Louise Law

Do you have any color schemes?

In general, absolutely any color other than green and white can work: green can be unstable, and white can turn brown. I always rely on the place in which the installation will be located, and at the stage of project planning I always try to study as much as possible local customs and the symbolic language of flowers, which is different in each region. I studied the history of floristry and studied with completely different masters, from fashion set designers to wedding and ritual florists: I was interested in everything.

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The Hated Flower. 2014. (c) Nicola Tree

The Hated Flower. 2014. (c) Nicola Tree

You collaborate a lot with public spaces - department stores, offices, corporate event venues. Do they order works from you privately?

Yes, many of my works have been commissioned for private houses. In addition, I do smaller installations that are displayed in my gallery space on Columbia Road in East London.

What are the most unusual places you've worked in?

The most memorable experience was the project for a theme park in Japan. And the site of my dreams is Turbin Hall in Tate Modern, I would really like to make an installation for this space.

Flowers are one of the main motives of creativity in many artistic directions. They were actively used as a symbol by Dutch still lifes of the Golden Age, Pre-Raphaelites, and Impressionists. Which artists of the past inspire you?

I really love the work of the Flemish and Dutch still life painters. I am also inspired by the work of Wassily Kandinsky and artists of the Color Spectrum - for example, Mark Rothko. Actually, Rothko's color searches were my starting point, I fell in love with his paintings and thought: "How can I promote the concept of color even further?"

Are you going to Russia?

I would really like to work in Russia: the more I travel, the more I love people and their unique cultural codes. This year at the moment I have projects planned and approved in Poland, the United States of America and Denmark.

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Rebecca at work on the 150,000 flower installation Canopy in Melbourne, Australia. 2016

The Garden Display. 2014. (c) Nicola Tree

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The Garden Display. 2014. (c) Nicola Tree

The Beauty of Decay. 2016. Chandran Gallery, San Franciso

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White Tulips. 2014. Sensing Spaces, Royal Academy, London

Drying. 2014. (c) Nicola Tree

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Grecian Garden. 2014. Onassis Cultural Center, Athens

Hanging Garden. 2011. The Royal Opera House, London

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