Dutch still life paintings are a massive influence on our floral displays. Bold, decadent, rich with colour and bursting with movement. So when we were approached by the artist, Dan Tobin Smith to collaborate on his exhibition,  Still Life with Flowers. We. Couldn’t. Wait.

Image courtesy of Dan Tobin Smith

Inspired by Dutch still life paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries, the work features angular metal sculptures filled with flowers that mirror shapes and patterns created by the original paintings. The series is based on compositions by Dutch great masters, such as Rachel Ruysch and Willem Van Aelst, and was conceived to coincide with Chelsea Fringe (17 May – 8 June). Tobin Smith deconstructs these familiar images of flowers in abundance in decorative vases, breaking them down into geometric shapes, creating spaces for colour and texture. He built the metal structures in line with those shapes and filled them to bursting with flowers. Tobin Smith said: “I like the contrast of the delicate flowers and brutal steel sheets. I wanted the final image to look very much like a construction, but teetering and almost collapsing. The sharp geometry of the steel being the first thing the viewer sees, then the flowers emerge in detail. These days flowers are heavily bred much like modern fruits and vegetables so the thought of them representing an ideal of nature is thought-provoking, much like the original paintings.”

Image courtesy of Dan Tobin Smith

Limited edition prints will be available to buy from £200 - £500 unframed. The Storeroom at L’Entrepôt, 230 Dalston Lane, E8 1LA. 17th May to 17th June 2014. 10am to 6pm every day. Free Entry.

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