This artwork is part of Ways of Seeing, a partnership between Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019 and the Government Art Collection. Ways of Seeing turns the borough into a gallery with 33 internationally renowned artists displayed in 28 unexpected locations.
In 2018, the Government Art Collection asked Hurvin Anderson to come up with a work about Britain. He responded with Still Life with Artificial Flowers, inspired by his mother’s front room in Birmingham. His parents were part of the Windrush generation. This glass vase is one of his mum’s prized possessions. It came with her from Jamaica in the 1950s.
At first, the print appears straightforward. Artificial flowers tumble out of a vase. Look closely, though, and you will see its texture. The red velvet flocked wallpaper has two layers. The vase sits on a cloth-covered sideboard, decorated with three white lace doilies.
Anderson’s art is influenced by his British and Jamaican heritage. He is interested in layers of identity. To make this image, he used a technique called screen printing. Ink is pressed through a stencil in a screen on to paper. The more stencils used, the more complex the design. He worked with two expert printmakers, Kip Gresham and Alan Grabham, to create 21 layers from 13 base colours and 15 stencils.
Born in Birmingham, Hurvin Anderson was the youngest of eight children. He studied fine art in London and now shows his work internationally. In 2017, he was nominated for the Turner Prize.
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