Flowers Gallery presents its first exhibition in 2019, titled Flowers Contemporary I & II taking place across both London locations in Cork Street and Kingsland Road.
On view are works by artists including Glenys Barton, Glen Baxter, George Blacklock, Edward Burtynsky, Aleah Chapin, Movana Chen, Cedric Christie, Edmund Clark, Bernard Cohen, Ken Currie, Jane Edden, Boyd & Evans, Nancy Fouts, Tom Hammick, David Hepher, Nicola Hicks, Scarlett Hooft Graa and, Peter Howson, Claerwen James, Lucy Jones, John Keane, John Kirby, Tim Lewis, John Loker, John MacLean, Ishbel Myerscough, Jiro Osuga, Freya Payne, Tom Phillips, Simon Roberts, Carol Robertson, Michael Sandle, Tai- Shan Schierenberg, Peter Schmersal, Kevin Sinnott, Renny Tait and Shen Wei.
In the upstairs galleries at Kingsland Road is The Brexit Lexicon, a new single channel video work by Simon Roberts, (c. 80 minutes), exploring the verbiage and metaphors used by politicians and journalists during Britain’s exit from the Europe Union. The lexicon is read out as a monologue by a news presenter in an anonymous news television studio. Compiled as a compendium of the most common terms that have shaped the discussions of Brexit in both politics and the media, it asks questions about the function of mass media, the relationship between politics, media and truth, and explores how language has been wielded in the process of campaigning and reporting.
Bernard Cohen presents a new painting, Changes, in which a dizzying arrangement of lines, dots and planes of colour gradually reveal an internal order, translating the complexity of life, identity and the human condition. The titles of Bernard Cohen’s paintings often indicate his concern with a painting’s identity (for example, Matter of Identity in the Tate Collection). He says, “everything on the canvas changes and goes on changing until I realise the true identity of what I have been making.” Also on display is a monumental painting by David Hepher, renowned for his large-scale urban landscapes, incorporating materials relating to architectural spaces, such as concrete. The facade of the South London housing estate is deliberately anonymous, drawing attention, as he says, “to a kind of beauty where perhaps people didn’t expect to find it.”
Michael Sandle’s brooding ink on paper The Joy of Melancholia, takes its elegiac title from a celebrated Dürer engraving. In Sandle’s modern-day interpretation of the theme, a gun turret provides the metaphor for human folly. Political artist John Keane, also known for his sustained inquiry into global military and social conflicts, presents a composite painting of two fragmented heads, from his new series Despocracy, (a conflation of the terms despot and democracy).
The exhibition includes an installation of photographs by Edmund Clark, from his series produced during a four-year artist residency at HMP Grendon, Europe’s only wholly therapeutic prison. This work, which combines images of prison architecture, flora and figure studies, is a reflection on the rehabilitation of serious offenders in the contemporary prison system. Also on is the first presentation of a work from John MacLean’s new photographic series Your Nature, exploring metaphors for the collective human psyche within the natural landscape; alongside Scarlett Hooft Graafland’s embroidered photograph Skylines, portraying a site-specific sculptural performance in Madagascar, one of the world’s most isolated regions.
Three-dimensional works include hand-cranked mechanical sculptures by Tim Lewis and Jane Edden. In The Shadow of the Cat by Tim Lewis, a cat draws its own image when the handle is turned. The mechanism in Observer, from Jane Edden’s Chimera series, generates the opening and closing of a dragonfly’s wings by a mysterious centaur-like entomologist. Further work using images and materials from the natural world are a large-scale plaster and straw sculpture by Nicola Hicks, and a taxidermy sculpture by Nancy Fouts, based on Aesop’s Fable The Crow and the Serpent, which explores the tension between the two characters with characteristic humour. Also on display is a knitted sculpture by Movana Chen, weaving new stories from shredded dictionaries & maps.Courtesy of Flowers Gallery