ORGAN THING: Flower show innit? Sculptor Catriona Robertson at Chelsea…

Saatchi Gallery have commissioned British sculptor Catriona Robertson for their third annual and what they say is their most ambitious garden to date. Visitors are invited to explore the newly commissioned, giant worm-like sculptures, created using reclaimed materials, aimed to emphasise the importance of ecological growth without the interruption of human activity. The installation is at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023 (23-27 May) at stand number RWH250. Do rather like the piece but then anyone who knows my art will know this was always going to work for me (you’ll find my next istallation at That House on Mare Street in a couple of weeks time..


The press release –

“Saatchi Gallery reveals an immersive RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden, with special new commissions by British sculptor Catriona Robertson. Visitors are invited to discover three giant, worm-like sculptures, ‘Gigantic Pile’ created using recycled newspaper pulp and reclaimed metal scraps collected across local London sites. The reclaimed urban material emerges from mounds of earth.

The garden explores the relationship between nature and man-made materials and the resilience of wilderness. Robertsons’ intricate process highlights how easy it is for city dwellers to become disconnected from nature, living in synthetic environments and confined spaces that separate humans and nature.

Robertson, a recent graduate from the Royal College of Art and runner-up winner of the annual Robert Walters UK New Artist of the Year Award, is a current residence at the Royal Society of Sculpture. Her work responds to the interconnectedness of nature and the city as a landscape resulting in sculptures that embody an architectural imprint. 

The garden is a space designed to encourage reconnection with nature, allowing visitors to be physically close to the sculptures through the corrugated pathway.

The garden is designed in collaboration with Dave Green Gardens, an RHS Gold award-winning garden designer. With over ten years of experience working with the RHS, Green specialises in creating beautifully tranquil escapes with an exceptional eye for detail. Catriona Robertson reflects on the process behind the pieces, “A quote that often inspires my creative thinking is by artist Manny Farber, “A peculiar fact about termite-tapeworm-fungus-moss art is that it goes always forward, eating its own boundaries, and, likely as not, leaves nothing in its path other than the signs of eager, industrious, unkempt activity.” Much of our landscape ecology has been altered over time by human activity but wildness lingers, waiting to reclaim human-made landscapes. I hope this garden inspires visitors to embrace the chaos of nature to create an integrated and thriving future ecology, opening up the space to allow for a rewilding of the city.

Saatchi Gallery’s Director Paul Foster says, “We are very excited to be going into our third year in partnership with the RHS, and present an incredible new artist, Catriona Robertson to Chelsea Flower Show visitors. The garden is a perfect melting pot of horticulture, art whilst highlighting important environmental issues.”

Catriona Robertson is a multimedia visual artist whose work is primarily concerned with materiality demonstrated by her use of recycled and discarded materials. Her sculpture and installation work explores architecture and the afterlife of materials, considering waste, its reclamation, recycling, and degradation.

Meanwhile, talking of flower shows and cross-pollenation, the Art Car Boot Fair Spring Bounce is happening on line right now, more here – ORGAN PREVIEW: The Art Car Boot Fair’s year kicks off this Friday with their week-long online Spring Bounce, fifty or more invited artists and a whole lot of fresh flora and fauna to explore… / Blowing my own trumpet at the fair


Leaves growing in Finchley

Talking of Gardens, this happened last year – ORGAN THING: Did the sky move for you? An artist-led sculpture trail in North London. Installation, performance, ribbons, plates, a heron all during London Sculpture Week and until September 18th…

Previously on these pages

ORGAN THING: Beyond The Streets London at Saatchi Gallery, is it as important as it thinks it is? Is it a must see exhibition?

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