his new solo exhibition from Rebecca Louise Law invites you to contemplate the transience of nature through the collected and curated remains of the artist’s shows from the last fifteen years. These are often immersive, site-specific installations comprised of dried flower garlands, the individual elements sewn together with fine copper wire and suspended from the ceiling.
Her work creates a sense of nature in freeze frame; flowers that are made to last. In Dust, the dried remnants of these installations are compressed together in frames. If there’s something melancholy about the faded colours of flowers once in bloom, it’s offset by the work’s peacefulness and muted beauty.
At a distance, the framed fragments look like spectacularly detailed illustrations or maps. Up close the flower, petal and copper particles reveal themselves. The larger pieces in the exhibition are double-sided so that from one angle you might see whole flower heads intact, dusky-pink petals, long stems – and from another the very fine, barely-there dust.Meanwhile, in the centre of the room a small mountain of floral detritus gives off the husk of a blossomy scent. It’s a precarious yet solid pile; too heavy to blow away but exposed to any wind from the high street and the footfall from passing visitors.
The urge to hold on and to let go is the gentle tension at the centre of Dust, inspiring reflection on how this idea translates into human life – while gazing at the tiny specs behind the glass, you may suddenly notice yourself in the reflective surface.
But rather than emphasising death or causing you to think too much about your own mortality (not always the most relaxing prospect), the exhibition celebrates the passage of time in nature and the beauty therein.
Stepping into this curious world of flowery fragments offers a moment’s respite from the busy high street. The Bo.Lee Gallery, tucked away at the tip of Rye Lane, is not a huge space so you probably need about twenty five minutes for a nice thoughtful perusal.
Main image: Sophie Renouf