Representing the creative future

An artistic moment to stop and smell the flowers

SHOWstudio’s Flowers Exhibition celebrates the work of 70+ artists until late February

On display until February 29th in the SHOWstudio Gallery is the exhibition Flowers, showcasing contemporary depictions of flora by over 70 of the world’s leading, cutting-edge fashion illustrators and artists. The beauty of nature has been a central theme across the arts from time immemorial across painting, design, film, the written word, music, and indeed fashion – think of bold Schiaparelli floral designs, McQueen’s roses, Rei Kawakubo’s flowers. To celebrate the work of the artists part of the exhibition, we asked them: what in your work is like stopping to smell the roses? The more in tune we are with what our work means to us and how to derive pleasure from it, the closer we may perhaps be to building an art practice that conveys its true meaning to the eye of the beholder.

The SHOWstudio gallery

Anjelica Roselyn @anjelicaroselyn “FLORAL 3”

“My illustrations for FLOWERS were done soon after a trip to Trinidad and Tobago. Having a moment away from the bustle of London led me to create a slightly different body of work than my usual style. Taking a step into a different way of life and climate for a fortnight led me to create a more stripped-back series of flower illustrations. I consider it a snapshot of my frame of mind at the time: color and simplicity.”

Alexandra Grahame @alexandragrahame “Lucent Flower”

“From afar there is a really strong graphic element in my work, these corridors of light, which upon closer more intentional viewing illuminate almost translucent-looking florals. In that way, this drawing entices you to slow down and be present.”

Lara Lancaster @lara_lancaster “Bottlebrush”

In my work, there’s a deliberate act of pausing to appreciate the details – much like stopping to smell the roses. It’s about intentionally slowing down and taking a closer look because there’s always more than meets the eye.

Cliff Warner @cliff_warner_artist “Flower 1”

“The painted deep red of the rose shouts to the viewer declaring energy and universal beauty symbolized by the language of flowers. The subtle smudges of the composition allow an introduction to an ethereal otherworldly connection for the viewer to consider.”

Rob Unett @robunett “QUIETUS FLOROSA”

“The synchronicity of distinctly different elements. Solid, stem, thorn, petal, soft, scent. Daub, bleed, scratch, block, dark, light. When coalesced, unusually and uniquely appear fresh,  invigorating and stimulating, be that visual or nasal.”

Glenn Sandoval @glnsndvl “Untitled”

“My work shows the creation and destruction of nature. Humans have a tumultuous relationship with nature. We destroy it to make our lives easier. The chair, which gives us comfort when our body is tired, is being burned down. In the center of the flower is an eye. It’s as if nature is looking at the viewer, confronting it for what it does. Nature will always have the upper hand in all of this. Fires, hurricanes, storms and such could wipe us all away. This artwork shows a slice of the complexities that we have with nature. We appreciate it, it’s symbolism but we destroy it for our own sake.”

Velwyn Yossy  @velwyn “Alcea Noir”

“There’s a lot of time, energy and focus when the work is being made, so I feel that I can let myself ‘smell the roses’ when the work is completely finished.”

Samuel Harrison @samuelharrisonart “Cascading Arrangement”

When creating my illustration ‘Cascading Arrangement’ I wanted it to be an excess of flowers, overflowing from the vase. Once you start to dissect this chaos there are some small hidden details that particularly make me think about stopping to smell the roses as they aren’t immediately noticeable unless you’re really giving the illustration a moment of focus.

The two main details that spring to mind are firstly the exposed skeleton of the arrangement. Just left to the center of my piece there is a stem of thorns, which I viewed as a naked moment, a window beneath the flowering mass that is integral to the structure of the shape. The second detail being a delicate little bee on the base of the vase, it was the last thing I added to the illustration and in many ways was the cherry on top or the full stop to the piece. He didn’t need to be there, but I put him there for me.

Piet Paris @pietparisillustration “Mountain”

“The appreciation and effort for simplifying matters, in this case flowers, in a respectful way.”

Veronica Mortellaro @veronicamortellaroart “In Bloom III”

“Remembering that you are the roses.”

Katarina Kuhl @katarinakuehl “Wild Rose”

“A delicate promise of intricate sensitivity that is floating in the air and is hidden underneath complex layers at the same time.”

Suzy Platt @suzy_platt

“There is so much beauty around us, whether it be the sky reflecting on a tiny drop of rain on a leaf, to a symphony of roses in bloom pictured in my artwork. When we can take the time to quiet our mind and see the beauty and wonder of life and of being alive, then we are not merely existing, but truly living.”

Dylan Qin @dylanqin1990 “Anemones”

“I think it is the hidden fantasy details in my work. When you see these details, it’s like the fragrance of roses, making the beautiful roses more attractive.”

Tom Hemingway @boyofbaroque “Flora I”

“My biggest creative release, or ‘smelling the roses’ moment is when I’m mindlessly sketching, whether this be at a life drawing session or at my desk developing a concept. These moments of unregimented, free-flowing creativity bring me the most freedom.”

Nicasio Torres Melgar @nicasio_torres “Flower #06”

“When I am present, attentive and connected to my work and in which everything makes sense.”

Frederic Forest @fredericforest “Flower 10”

“It is a poetic act. Looking at nature, and observing flowers says a lot about the important place of beauty and its ephemeral side in your mind. In the street or the countryside, stopping running or walking, taking in your eye on what surrounds you has become so rare, even contrary to the hypocrisy of our time where we spend more time talking about ecology messages and screens interposed than simply loving nature and its presence. Stopping to see a flower, and approaching it is a parenthesis, breathing it opens a forgotten window, it is the desire for a memory, the desire to be oneself. To breathe a flower is to become intoxicated with nature, to be perfumed with pure beauty.”

Robson Stannard @robson.stannard “Serendipity”

“Seeing my work within other people’s homes and spaces.”

Seniz Jones @seniz_jones “Preserving Memories”

“There are so many moments of Pansey’s life span to observe in the artwork. I think what made me ‘stop to smell the roses’ is that it looked like it had a story to tell. It’s its own journey without ever moving from its birth home. There was a lot that was beautiful and personal about the moment.”