Using all kinds of materials, including trees, flowers, candles, sand, and ice, London-based artist Anya Gallaccio creates site-specific artworks that explore the ephemerality of nature. In particular, Red on Green is a stunning display of 10,000 fresh roses that were arranged within a gallery space. Gallaccio pulled the heads off of the roses and arranged them into a tightly packed rectangle.
For a small window of time, the piece is a gorgeous display of velvety flowers that viewers will want to reach out and touch. But, the artist is more interested in what happens next. As the roses gradually wither and die, Gallaccio says, “I like the mixture of celebration with death or decay.” The dying flowers are a visual gesture of passion, but the artist doesn’t want it to be a sentimental piece. She focuses more on the collaboration between herself and the objects, and enjoys the enigmatic process of natural decay.