The Iris


Inspired by the local historic marshland of the Greenwich Peninsula, ‘Iris’ was created using 10,000 stems, individually wired and suspended over the course of a week’s installation period.

Press Release excerpt:

Inspired by the land that the NOW Gallery sits on, once a wetland of tidal marshes previously known as ‘Bugsby’s’ and ‘Greenwich Marsh’, Law’s research for the art work involved walking along the banks of the Peninsula, plucking a marsh reed and taking it to her studio. She was interested in working with this whimsical plant but the pollen that came off just one was too great to make reeds into an installation. The essence of this land remains today, presented through Greenwich Peninsula Ecology Park and Common Reed planting along the Thames River Path.

After looking into this history and researching native marshland plants, Law decided she wanted to create an installation that embraces the present and the past. This installation is intended to immerse the viewer in nature, an experience that is rare within the concrete metropolis. The Iris is a marshland plant yet most commonly known as a cultivated springtime flower today. This artwork is a celebration of the Iris, a continued exploration into preservation and the use of flowers as a respected sculptural material. Each flower will dry within the gallery space over time, allowing the viewer to observe the process of preservation and the artist’s exploration of ephemerality.

Jemima Burrill, NOW Gallery Curator:

“We are very pleased to have Rebecca Louise Law transforming NOW Gallery with her extraordinary tribute to nature and its demise. We are fascinated to see how her exhibition will evolve over the three months in the gallery from fresh blooms to dried flowers hanging poetically from the ceiling in an unpredictable and sculptural way.. we would like people to think of the gallery as their own, to come and regularly see how the installation is changing, this could be a fleeting look as you rush past or to take five minute to come in, be immersed and contemplate the state of the natural world.”

Click here for BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour featuring ‘Iris’ (‘Flowers as Art’ chapter).

Images: Charles Emerson