The group exhibition “In Bloom,” which opened in Chelsea, London last May 18 at Victoria Law Projects, brings together 19 artists, who, with a variety of techniques and mediums, investigate the age-old natural theme of blossoming. Bringing together Alex Appleby, Georgia Beaumont, Solanne Bernard, Lise Boussière, Camilla Bliss, Ji Won Cha, Tim Ellis, Sasha Ferré, Farnaz Gholami, Duncan Jago, Daniel MacCarthy, Joanna Maclennan, Ivgenia Naiman, Marco Piemonte, Gina Soden, Karen Tronel, Linda Wallis, Anna Woodward, and Salomé Wu, the group show will be on view until June 9, 2023.
When a private home opens its doors to host an art project with a profound contemporary focus, the outcome implies numerous variables stemming from its particular context. Victoria Law Projects, the eponymous incubator of collaborations and artistic projects, founded by collector and passionate researcher Victoria Law, presents its first physical event located in London, choosing the everyday environment experienced by its founder as a stage and hearth in which to grow an original approach to interpretation, as well as a broad vision in terms of artist selection. The exhibition “In Bloom” is actually capable of challenging the typical correlation to the theme of representation of the floral in art, usually conceived as a viaticum of a dimension of complacency and a purely feminine declination. The flower becomes a pretext for investigating reality from another point of view, which emphasises, through the different poetics of the artists, its countless aspects, from the most playful to the “disturbing” ones.
Although being placed in a space where living and the implications thereof can lead to reflections concerning the link between art and aesthetic taste connected to this existence, the exhibition created by Victoria Law Projects intelligently examines this liminal space. Through it, it demonstrates how the immersion in an environment that is familiar, in terms of habitual visual vocabulary, can allow one to go beyond the usual, to reveal universes that, with silent wonder, permeate the imagination of the viewers, transporting them elsewhere. Light is the absolute protagonist of the possible successful journeys within four walls: the reverberation of the season, which brings with it renewal and a sense of possibility, embraces the exhibition, literally materializing the title designated for it. Two glass openings to the outside and a back garden welcoming an installation, constitute the points of connection with the city and its unexpected landscape presence.
The refined pacing of the works allows for slow and relaxed contemplation prompting the expansion of time enabling a further level of reading. From the very first steps into the long entrance, “In Bloom” reveals its power so elegant, new and fresh, with works by Camilla Bliss, an artist who throughout the exhibition accompanies us with subtle and incredible adventures to be slowly discovered. Similarly, Joanna Maclennan, in a somewhat baroque and “excessive” way, playfully creates a composition with Braquian references, so much so that it appears to be a painting rather than a photograph.
The surreal is an element that links many of the exhibited works. Through the use of a variety of techniques and perspectives, artists such as Linda Wallis, with extremely pictorial drawings of (im)possible subjects, or Alex Appleby with Magrittean cosmologies, continue the extension of the trend towards “trespassing”. At the same time, Daniel MacCarthy and Farnaz Gholami, recover atmospheres dear to them, perhaps set aside for some time, waiting for a rebirth, enveloping the spectator with more figurative focuses in which nature is the backdrop in the first case, more centred on luxuriant vegetation in the second.
Very present is a proceeding by layers of materials, resulting in different levels of rarefaction: as in the works by Ji Won Cha, Georgina Beaumont, Sasha Ferré, Duncan Jago, Ivgenia Naiman, Anna Woodward and Salomé Wu. Caducity, which has always been ascribed to the broad panorama of still life, is sublimely captured in Gina Soden’s photography, where all the beauty, only partially lost, is manifested in the crystallisation of a man-made but abandoned greenhouse reclaimed by nature.
True installations that reinterpret found objects, both natural and artificial, are the two artworks by Tim Ellis and Lise Boussière, one in the garden at the back of the house and visible from a large rectangular glassed-in area, the other in the bay window, also glazed, on the opposite side of the room; they call the shots regarding the exhibition discourse, giving it rhythm and dynamism. A rhythmic development is continued with the works by Marco Piemonte and Solanne Bernard, through the natural element, use of colours and the respective positioning of the paintings and sculptures in the exhibition space. Finally, Karen Tronel‘s work is an exploration of materials combining three-dimensional wall based pieces and an interest in humoristic and illusionistic viscerality.
A.A.V.V., In Bloom
Victoria Law Projects
by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Graduated in Foreign languages, literatures and European artist cultures, she worked as a visitor assistant in some prestigious art museums and institutions in London, UK. Once back to Italy, Caterina obtained a Master degree in Contemporary Art Markets from NABA, Milan, while starting collaborations with contemporary art galleries with roles as gallery assistant and exhibitions coordinator. She writes for art magazines and has recently started to work as independent curator, after attending a course in curatorial practices at the School for Curatorial Studies, Venice.