Baker + Borowski
King's Road, Chelsea, London, UK
BAKER + BOROWSKI, GRAPHIC REWILDING FLOWER CLOUDS
THE CHRYSANTHEMUM BENCH - INSPIRED BY THE PLANT NURSERIES AND GARDENS OF CHELSEA
This installation is inspired by the myriad of unusual plants widespread across the neighbourhood - from the famous Chelsea Physic Garden, with its cornucopia of medicinal and ‘useful’ plants to the fertile market gardens and numerous plant nurseries renowned for their rare species, that once lined the King’s Road. This Baker + Borowski artwork features Chrysanthemums, Oriental Poppies and Echinacea flowers.
The warm micro-climate of Chelsea enabled the cultivation of exotic plants, including magnolias, orange trees and orchids, as well as the first Chinese chrysanthemums ever to be grown in the UK.
Poppies (along with chrysanthemums) were favoured motifs of the ‘Arts & Crafts’ movement (also rooted in the Chelsea neighbourhood) and often embellished the designs of renowned artists and artisans, such as William Morris and William De Morgan.
Echinacea flowers, famed for their healing powers (boosting immune function, relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and antioxidant effects) represent the species cultivated at the nearby Chelsea Physic Garden, which is home to a unique living collection of around 4,000 varieties of useful and medicinal plants.
These immersive installations draw inspiration from each location and hark to the horticultural heritage of Chelsea - from the King’s Road’s home to plant nurseries in the 18th century and the Flower Power movement of the 1960’s, the current ‘greening’ by Cadogan on Sloane Street - and of course, the world famous Chelsea Flower Show.
As an artistic counterbalance to urban life, Graphic Rewilding creates vast, nature-inspired, attention-grabbing artworks in city spaces. These Flower Cloud sculptural seating artworks are inspired by the rich cultural history of London and encourage people to take a moment, reflect and be engulfed in the supersaturated colours of nature.
Catherine Borowski and Lee Baker are the co-founders of SKIP Gallery and Graphic Rewilding. Graphic Rewilding is a counter balance to the lack of green space in cities. Lee and Catherine create vast, flower-inspired, maximalist, positivity-inducing artworks and immersive environments in often-overlooked urban spaces. The vibrant images of nature are set in opposition to the grey concrete jungle, and though these obviously could never provide the same environmental and psychological benefits as real nature, the intention is to inspire people to connect and empathise a little more with the natural world, hopefully mitigating some of the negative effects of a lack of exposure to green space.
See the sculptures installed in various locations around Chelsea. This installation is sponsored by Kings Road Partnership and supported by Cadogan.
From 16 June all summer