Ann Carrington is a talented British artist with an excellent taste for the unusual. In her most recent series entitled, Bouquets and Butterflies, she has transformed ordinary silverware into mind-blowing floral arrangements.
To create these delicate and spectacular works of art, Carrington gathers spoons, knives, and forks and turns them into elegant bouquets. These fascinating sculptures were part of her solo exhibition ‘Pop goes the Weasel!’ at the Royal College of Art in London last July and August.
As written on Carrington’s website, “Blowball Bluebell is a modern-day memento mori. (Latin for ‘remember you will die’). Inspired by Dutch still lives of the 16th and 17th century where the pictures team with precious objects testifying to the pleasures of life and the flow of time, such as a pocket watch, a pewter mug, a vase of flowers or a set table.
In this sculpture, the flowers are constructed from silver plated spoons, pewter tankards, silver vases, and plates – the contents of a 16th century Dutch still life reassembled in another dimension and time. Blowball Bluebell is inspired by Grinling Gibbons, the famous wood carver of the 17th century who was celebrated for his sculpture garlands featuring cascades of fruit.
“I have always been interested in discarded, found and multiples of objects. All objects are saturated with cultural meaning, which I, as an artist seek to explore, unravel and investigate.
Mundane objects like knives and forks, barbed wire, pins, and paintbrushes, I find interesting as they come with their readymade histories and associations which I try and analyze by rearranging them as a sculpture. I merge materials with a form to tell a story through objects that are familiar to us all,” Carrington told the Royal College of Art.
For her most recent exhibition ‘Pop goes the Weasel!’ she was particularly inspired by the vanitas theme in Dutch flower painting, British folk art, medieval chain mail and Haitian voodoo flags! As written on Carrington’s website, “the exhibition reveals a witty repurposing of everyday items which are transformed through often surprising and unlikely marriages of materials and method.”
“Through careful crafting and with ample patience, Carrington turns the aged flatware and other kitchen tools into beautiful bunches of flowers. In each unbelievable utensil bouquet, spoons’ bowls become budding bulbs and rosettes; the layered prongs of forks turn into delicate, thin petals; and knives and handles represent clusters of leaves,” Kelly Richman-Abdou wrote for My Modern Met.
Carrington models these beautiful floral sculptures after real-life floral arrangements and makes them look so realistic that you might even think that they’re real flowers, covered with silver paint.
Ann Carrington studied at Bournville College of Art, Birmingham and The Royal College of Art graduating in 1987. In 1988 she received The Herbert Read Award, followed by the Commonwealth Fellowship for Sculpture in 1992. Two major awards by the Arts Council of Great Britain followed in 1994 and 1997. In 2008 she was the winner of a national competition to produce a major new artwork for Margate sea front.
In 2010 Ann was invited by the United Nations to help raise awareness of current issues through her artwork – her first artwork for The UN was presented at the UN Human Trafficking conference in Luxor Egypt, December 2010. She has exhibited worldwide and fulfilled many private and public commissions, including The Royal Jubilee Banner for the Queen in celebration of her Diamond Jubilee and works for The W Hotel Hoboken, The Waldorf Astoria, The Alpini Gstaad, The Chiltern Firehouse and Paul Smith.