The Iris


As the home of the 02 Arena, North Greenwich has been known more for rock concerts and festivals than for fine arts…but things are changing.

Home to a constantly changing parade of installations which are designed to ‘transform and react to the gallery space’ The NOW Gallery is bringing a new type of art and exhibition to east London.

The latest commissioning by the gallery sees an installation from Rebecca Louise Law called ‘The Iris’ which is made up of 10,000 fresh irises which are suspended with copper wire and appear to float within the gallery space.

From the website:

‘The work will take a simple object – in this case an iris – creating visual impact with not only quantity but also arrangement. The undulating silhouette of the work will be visible on the approach to the gallery. It is not until you enter the space that the work reveals evidence that these fresh flowers are forever changing becomes apparent, as they dry out and their shapes change and contort.

‘The work evolves as nature takes its course and offers an alternative concept of beauty; embracing preservation and decay.Each flower will dry within the gallery space over time, allowing the viewer to observe the process of preservation and her exploration of ephemerality.’



The installation is intended to ‘envelop the viewer in nature’ and though there are certainly irises in abundance the stark nature of the flower and display does make it a bit difficult to tune out the modern sounds and images that surround the gallery space…


There’s a certain beauty to it all, of course, but it wasn’t quite the colourful spectacle I was anticipating. I guess this is because I thought the work would make more of the flower itself and less of the stem (the real star in the space).


I was also surprised at how quickly the flowers had begun the drying process. The exhibition had only opened 3 days prior so I had thought there would still be a lot more bloom in them.


Though not what I expected I can’t say there wasn’t a unique beauty to it all – the flowers against that white wall provided a particularly great photo opportunity – though I wonder how it will look by the time the exhibition ends on 7 May. Check it out if you have a chance – all the details are here – and let me know what you think!

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