SHOWstudio's exhibition Florist, was dedicated to the still life and included major works by Guy Bourdin, Daniel Brown, Michael Howells, Nick Knight, Jeffry Mitchell and Mary Temple.
In tandem with its physical exhibition, SHOWstudio.com broadcast an exclusive series of performances from the LiveStudio in Bruton Place by Bishi, Mary Katrantzou, Stephen Jones and others. Floral artefacts including one-off garments, headpieces and objets d'art made during the LiveStudio were then added to the exhibition and offered for sale in the Shop throughout the course of the exhibition.
As one of the main genres of Western art, still life has celebrated our earthly delights since the 16th century. Densely packed canvases have captured inanimate materials and ephemeral organic objects, celebrating food and flowers in abundance. In more modern art, simple still lifes have been used as a neutral basis for formal experiment. Today, the genre has mostly been cast aside in favour of a more conceptual aesthetic. Florist sets out to show just how powerful the natural grace of a simple flower can be. Through the lens of the photographer we watched as blossom became at once abstracted and sharpened and in the hands of the sculptor we discovered the curves and bends of organic form. And foliate forms have, of course, inspired the greatest fashions in haute couture history, from the expansive bloom-scattered canvasses of Worth's crinolins to the corolla inspired handspan waists and budding skirts of Dior's New Look. Seeing all these things together -- the sculptural handling of a flower, the vivid flattening of flora in a photograph, and the intense burst of embroidery across cloth -- put one thing into sharp relief: these works of art are actual veritas to the unfolding of nature.
This exhibition also marked a major landmark - SHOWstudio.com's ten years of innovation, experimentation and creation. To mark the passing of this first decade, SHOWstudio.com commissioned key SHOWstudio.com contributors to 'say it with flowers' and create their own floral tribute to help us celebrate. With contributors ranging from Craig McDean to Yohji Yamamoto to Dame Vivienne Westwood to Julie Verhoeven, a host of artists, fashion designers, musicians and models all came together to create an exhibition that literally bloomed as the month’s progressed; from week to week new submissions were added to the show - a perfect tonic to the dormant season, and a reflection of the ever expanding, ever changing nature of the World Wide Web.
Juxtaposing the art tradition of the still life with the intransigence and ephemeral nature of fashion, and the cutting edge technology that has become SHOWstudio.com's leitmotif, Florist reinvented our view of flowers as art, fashion and artefact. A fitting floral tribute to ten years of SHOWstudio.com's revolutionary innovation.
Contributors included Guy Bourdin, Daniel Brown, Simon Costin, Giles Deacon, Andy Hillman, Michael Howells, Jonathan Kaye of The Gentlewoman, Kenzo, Jeffry Mitchell, Gareth Pugh, Martine Sitbon for Rue du Mail, Sølve Sundsbø, Julie Verhoeven, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williams, Yohji Yamamoto.