We spoke to Rebecca Louise Law, an artist known for her vast, immersive floral sculptures. Her work is underpinned by both the sensuality and transience of nature and has appeared in New York Time's Square and the V&A...
Tell us about your work and your current exhibition at the NOW Gallery?
The Iris is an artwork inspired by British marshlands in springtime. Every artwork I create is made site specific, with every element of the space considered before I start. The NOW Gallery is part of a new development and the architecture is complex for a gallery. It was essential to soften the space with nature in a way that could immerse the viewer. I researched into the surrounding area and the history of the Greenwich Peninsula. The land began as marshland and I wanted to bring an essence of this into the present. The Iris is a common British marshland plant and a common spring cultivated flower that can often be undervalued. I wanted to create an artwork that would suspend this flower in time allowing the viewer to observe and rediscover. My art is about discovering and experiencing nature. I work against the ephemeral nature of flowers, creating sculptures that can withstand time through preservation.
Where and how did you learn your craft?
I studied Fine Art at Newcastle University where I was given time to experiment with materials. In 2003 I created my first installation using the flower as my sculptural material. Throughout the years I have had amazing support from my Father, who is a gardener for the National Trust. He has always helped talk through flowers and their material worth. My mother and grandmother dried and pressed flowers for art, so my confidence in the sculptural longevity of flowers has always been strong.
What are your favourite flowers to work with?
Everlasting flowers are preferable. I love working with Rodanthe, Helichrysum, Acroclinium and Statice. Although every flower is a new challenge and I am continually experimenting with new varieties.
Describe your workspace
My workspace depends on the artwork. Huge installations are made onsite and I have to settle into a new space for a while. Small artworks are made in my studio/home on Columbia Road. I open this space to the public on Sundays which coincides with a flower market. My husband and I live in the rest of the house. Sometimes it can feel quite bohemian with many visitors. I also have two local storage spaces; a shipping container filled with tools and every flower that I have ever dried and a second studio for stored artworks and deliveries. Artworks that require weeks of preparation with dried and intricate techniques are often made in temporary studios that I hire job by job.
What inspires you, both in your work and life in general?
I'm continually inspired by nature. Daily it would be the sky, birds, trees and the changing seasons. I love getting out of the city into the countryside, being surrounded by growth and life amazes me. What inspires me most is the moment when you stop to look at all the earth provides and appreciate all we have.