Museum  September 28, 2018

Rebecca Louise Law Brings Floral Installation to the Toledo Museum of Art

Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

Rebecca Louise Law: Community

TOLEDO, Ohio – British installation artist Rebecca Louise Law uses flowers and natural materials as her medium to “paint in the air.” The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) has commissioned this vanguard contemporary artist to design and implement her largest site-specific installation to date exploring the relationship between humanity and nature. Sourcing approximately 150,000 plants and flowers native to the Toledo region and requiring 1,650 volunteer hours of assistance from community members over 15 days, Law has created an immersive environment that thematically and literally represents northwest Ohio. A proponent of sustainability, Law reused flowers from her previous installations around the world for the TMA project.

Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

Rebecca Louise Law: Community

Curated by TMA Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Horton-Westbrook, Rebecca Louise Law: Community is on view exclusively in Toledo through January 13, 2019. 

“We hope this installation will offer visitors a sensory experience, evocative of the people and places, natural history and landscapes of northwest Ohio,” said Brian Kennedy, TMA’s Edward Drummond and Florence Scott Libbey director. “Law’s transporting vision wonderfully reflects the spirit and textures of our local and global communities.” 

Law uses both dried and fresh flowers in her work, and the process of decay is part of her timebased installations. Inspired by the dried flowers that hung in her attic as a child, Law’s “sculptures” are suspended from above and held together with copper wire. 

Drawing on the theme of community, the coordinated volunteer effort began in May, with local residents assisting with stringing together garlands of plants and flowers and taking some ownership over the ambitious installation, an aspect of the project that the artist feels passionate about. 

“I started out studying printmaking and painting, but I’ve always enjoyed nature. I come from seven generations of artists on my mum’s side, and seven generations of gardeners on my dad’s,” said Law. “My intention was to get others to physically experience a painting. I soon began to realize that color wasn’t what mattered as much; it’s about nature and preservation, processes of life and decay.” 

Based in London, Law has been commissioned to create installations at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens, Chandran Gallery in San Francisco, Kew Royal Botanic Gardens in London and in New York City’s Times Square, among other venues. Her work has been exhibited at a range of galleries and at major institutions, including the Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

Courtesy Toledo Museum of Art

Rebecca Louise Law: Community

"Law's installations are powerful reminders of the need for us to be present in our everyday life - to stop and observe, to look closely and to appreciate the natural wonder that always surrounds us,” said Norton-Westbrook, who became familiar with the artist's work in the years she spent living in London before moving to Toledo. 

Law recently released the book Life in Death, the most comprehensive collection to date of her career and concerns. Documenting Law’s earliest experiments to her most famous installations through evocative photography, the volume also offers a more personal glimpse of the contemporary artist’s life and inspirations. Life in Death will be available in the Museum Store for $35.

Admission to Rebecca Louise Law: Community is free for members and $10 for nonmembers. Discounted tickets are available for seniors, college students, and military personnel ($7) and youth ages 5-17 ($5). 

Rebecca Louise Law: Community is sponsored in part by Taylor Cadillac, the Ohio Arts Council and the TMA Ambassadors with additional support from 2018 Exhibition Program Sponsor ProMedica.