“There is no art that can be created by man. Art is but a seed, a bud, a bloom!” James MacLeish Munroe, court gardener to Queen Anne, 1726.
Roadside flower beds spelling out a welcome to England’s seaside towns are the inspiration for Julie Verhoeven’s Saint James’s In Bloom, a collaboration between The Economist, the Contemporary Art Society and Riflemaker for summer 2006.
Drawing inspiration from England’s rich and eccentric gardening heritage, the installation transforms the formal setting of The Economist’s plaza into a floral wonderland…like a charming English folly of a ruin. A curiosity, rich in detail and fragrant in mood.
Brutalist columns metamorphose into trees laced with jewel-like mosaics and drawings, balancing willowy watering cans and sprouting Barbarella daffodils. A psychedelic rainbow becomes the proscenium arch of a unique arboreal scene with both familiar and unfamiliar motifs. Saint James’s In Bloom continues along the lines of botanic themes explored in Julie’s recent exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York this spring.