The Art of Flower Arranging in Contemporary Painting

Annual Exhibition 16th - 25th June, 2016

Open 10am - 5pm (Closing 1pm on the final day)

Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1

Admission £3, Consessions £2.50, Free to Friends of Mall Galleries and Under 18s. 50% off with National Art Pass

Julie Held NEAC - Notting Hill Florist

The New English Art Club’s Annual Exhibition has taken much inspiration from the art of the Florist. Vases full of flowers are the centrepiece for many of the paintings in this year’s exhibition. 

From posies to bouquets, the paintings of flowers range from classical studies with strong art historical references, to joyous celebrations of spring and the natural world, through to vibrant studies of colour and form. 

The essentially transitory and ephemeral natural of flowers means the passing of time and one’s own mortality are never far from mind in some of these works. Michael Whittlesea is showing a series of studies of the Catholic pilgrimage site Santiago de Compostela seen through bouquets of flowers next to crucifixes, 

perhaps hinting that while life on earth is fleeting there is hope for eternal life. Anthony Green RA’s A Modern Olympia VI is dominated by a huge vase of flowers; glimpsed through the petals we can see ‘Olympia’ reclining nude on the bed - while we see youth and fecundity, the picked flowers once again remind us that all this shall pass.  

Paul Curtis and William Selby have both treated the subject as an opportunity to explore bright and contrasting colours and strong forms. The vases placed on Curtis’ studio window allow him to include the view of the eerily empty sands of St Ives as a backdrop to the luminous petals. Selby’s are more about colour and shape; the reds and turquoises glow out from the canvas, inviting you in.