Bloomed: Foxglove
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Bloomed: Foxglove

2016
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Tall and stately, the foxglove can be appreciated for its vertical clusters of tubular shaped blooms. A favourite flower of the honey-bee, its eye-catching variations in colours include pink, red, purple, white and yellow. A common wild flower of Great Britain, foxgloves can be found in woodlands and gardens, on moorlands, coastal cliffs and roadside verges, serving as a reminder of the hazy days of summer.

The foxglove is a complex structure which oscillates and vibrates in the wind, and on this occasion, with the viewer's interaction. Occasionally, a mutated peloric flower opens at the top of the stem, beautifully deforming the underlying structure with its added weight. As the viewer approaches the artwork, so too will a butterfly, landing on a flower to sample its nectar. As night falls, some fairylike fireflies play around the blooms.

"Jan Van Huysum (active in the 17th and 18th centuries) was one of the greatest painters of still life, and specialised in the skilled representation of flowers. In the National Gallery’s Flowers in a Terracotta Vase (1736) the eye roves across a static landscape of flowers, the painter imbues life and vivacity in the work with the addition of butterflies, flies and the bowing, curling, explosion of  stems that support the flower heads, almost all of which are in full bloom – timed to open like a synchronised firework. Here and there, a droplet falls. The grapes and peaches feel ripe and good enough to eat. As we further inspect the piece, things begin to take on a surreal twist, the perspective feels strange, like the vase is sliding into the background, the small nest of eggs feels glued on and all the insects are suspended in animation, or posed as if nothing will take flight.

Harris’ Bloomed Wall (2017) pays homage to this genre of still life painting. In these works, the artist fully embraces the surreal, anachronistic nature of the arrangement of many different varieties of flower in coordinated bloom. Unlike in nature the flowers are made to last, rather than a real-life simulation they are caricatures, an abstraction of the real thing. The flowers sway and react to the viewer’s movements as if attached to springs, jostling for position, docking themselves like spaceships into their position on the grid, petals open and close but never fall from the stem. In some ways, it is the logical conclusion of a still life genre which aimed to capture the ecstatic moment of the hyper-real bloom than any perceived objective reality."

Extract from
essay by Sunny Cheung

Year:

2016

Edition:

Edition of 8 + 2 Artist Proofs + 2 Museum Proofs

Materials:

Code, software, display screen, electronics, sensor, aluminium, acrylic

Details:

Dimensions in MM:

Large:
446 (W) x 518 (H) x 72 (D) mm

Dimensions in INCHES:

Large:
17.5 (W) x 20.3 (H) x 2.8 (D) inches

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Bloomed: Foxglove
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