Compton Verney’s new Seasons installation
Artist Rebecca Louise Law did more than reconnect with nature in lockdown. She collected and preserved thousands of flowers and kept an Insta nature diary - now displayed in a beautiful new installation at Compton Verney.
The largest gallery space at Compton Verney is filled with thousands of preserved flowers and plants suspended from copper wires as part of Seasons, a stunning immersive new exhibition, by British installation artist Rebeca Louise Law. It has a genuine ‘wow’ factor.
First commissioned in November 2019, Seasons begins with spring, and then takes you on a journey through the year using preserved natural materials collected by Rebecca during 2020 and just before the pandemic, displayed above and around you. The last section of the installation, winter, is made with natural materials foraged from the grounds of Compton Verney itself.
While this commission began before the pandemic hit, lockdown has inevitably made Law’s personal recordings of the natural world even more intense. Law, best known for artworks created with natural materials is passionate about natural change and preservation. “Since 2019 I have been studying nature daily. Each day is documented through a paper diary, video diary and daily collection of natural material.,” she says.
With a palette of vivid colours, earthy tones and warm hues, Law’s latest installation has subtle influences of American Abstract Expressionists, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Arshile Gorky and Mark Rothko. Having begun her career as a painter, Law freely states that her work is inspired by these artists: “the space is my canvas and the flowers are my paint.”
Other works on display will include a film projection of the year taken from Law’s Instagram account – @rebeccalouiselawdiary – plus copies of the nature diaries that Law has been keeping from November 2019 onwards and a selection of floral weaves (pictured above).
Lockdown has produced a collective response from many people – in both rural and urban areas – with a greater desire to connect with green spaces and the natural environment. Seasons aims to further reflect this new-found delight in nature. Law’s short, absorbing and insightful videos will resonate fans of Radio 4’s ‘slow radio’ slot designed to be immersive and inspire visitors to take time afterwards to look at their local landscape and surroundings differently.
Recent research by the University of Derby on Nature Connectedness suggests that levels of nature connectedness, dip sharply in children aged 10-15 and can take 20 years to re-establish. Law is currently working directly with young people within this age group from local secondary schools to forage and assemble the final parts of the installation, and young people’s nature diaries forming part of the display.
Seasons runs at the same time as Nature’s Canvas, an exhibition celebrating Mary Newcomb (1922-2008), whose life and art were also rooted in everyday observation and the natural world.
Compton Verney has also produced a 15-minute film following the entire amazing process of the creation of Seasons, from the foraging of the flowers, to the teams of volunteers in Wales and Compton Verney individually stringing all the flowers on wires, to installing it in the Gallery. View here.