‘Still Life with Flowers’ is the latest series of work from acclaimed still-life photographer Dan Tobin Smith and draw on inspiration from Dutch still life paintings of the 17th and 18th centuries by great masters such as Rachel Ruysch and Willem Van Aelst.
Floral still life moves from vase to steel as Tobin Smith deconstructs the geometric structures of the paintings, using angular metal creations in line with the shapes formed within the original painting and in so doing, form spaces for colour and texture that were then filled to bursting with flowers.
Metro was delighted to produce and frame
the Lambda prints
for the show that opens in Hackney as part of the Chelsea Fringe the alternative garden and gardening festival, coinciding with but independent of the Chelsea Festival.
Tobin Smith comments: “I want to simplify and abstract these paintings into pieces of architecture using sheets of raw steel. Only the weight of colour and composition will remain from the original painting. The flowers lose their individuality so they are just colour, texture and weight, rather than a celebration of nature or as a symbol for a virtue. Here they will be just another construction, bred for a purpose just as steel is manufactured for one.
“I like the contrast of the delicate flowers and brutal steel sheets. I wanted the final images 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 painting.”