Say it with Flowers: SHOWstudio Review

Christian Dior Haute Couture Catwalk AW10 by Michael Howells
Flora Vanitas by Simon Costin
Hello Flowerhead by Andy Hillman
Rose by Nick Knight
O Pickle Jar by Jeffry Mitchell

As the Winter gloom deepens, summer seems like little more than a distant dream, a tantalising, lingering idea that there was a time when the sun shone and mornings were light. SHOWstudio’s new SHOP exhibition is the perfect antidote to seasonal blues, full of enough vibrant blooms to banish London’s (many) grey clouds. Entitled ‘Florist’, the small but perfectly formed exhibition explores the still life within the cheerful context of flora and fauna. As flowers bloomed across SS11 catwalks, it seems only fitting to celebrate and pay homage to the power of the ephemeral, the fleeting beauty of roses, peonies, orchids captured forever on canvas, screen or in print.

With SHOWstudio celebrating ten years of technological experimentation this year, Nick Knight has persuaded some very special guests – including Guy Bourdain, Gareth Pugh, Mary Temple and Solve Sundsbo – to take part in lavish birthday celebrations. The exhibits range from photographs to sculpture, canvases and (of course) film, and in a nod to the organic origins of the subject matter, the exhibition will grow and evolve as Winter progresses – works created through the now legendary LiveStudio are to be added, complemented with live performances from designers and creatives including Mary Katrantzou, Stephen Jones and Bishi.

As ‘Say it with flowers’ – the open brief given to collaborating artists – successfully reinvents the clichéd art of flower giving (it’s fair to say you won’t find any panic-buy petrol garage endeavours here) the role of the humble flower is reconsidered and revaluated - Michael Howell’s oversized sculpture – straight from the Dior haute couture catwalk – exemplifying the idea.

Florist is at SHOWstudio Shop until January 13 2011, 1-9 Bruton Place, Mayfair, London, W1J 6LT.

Vicki Loomes