Hepzibah Swinford: Flower Bomb at Rebecca Hossack Gallery
As winter takes over summer with its grey skies, drowning streets of London in a carpet of red and orange hues, Hepzibah Swinford’s exhibition, “Flower Bomb” at the Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery is like a cherished time capsule, offering one last chance to savour the colours and blooms of the season just gone.
The cosiness of the Rebecca Hossack Gallery is perfect for displaying Swinford’s collection of works. The small rooms keeps the viewer wrapped up from the fall breeze outside while immersed in the welcoming effects of “Flower Bomb”. The bold, bright colours creating a warming rainbow world for the viewer to lose themselves in.
Hepzibah Swinford is a self-taught painter who focuses on flowers. However, Swinford does not paint flowers in their indiginous settings, such as often-seen green grass and blue skies.
Swinford’s floral masterpieces instead show flowers contained in beautiful antique vases, and on domestic backgrounds of bold colours and psychedelic patterns, making her paintings unique and recognisable.
The daughter of the painter, Dora Holzhandler, Swinford grew up between London and Scotland and was surrounded by her family’s collection of Oriental art and its influences are evident in her style. She is also incredibly influenced by her own collection of antique pottery, including works by Ming and Meissen, and pieces from the Art Deco era and the Middle East. These various influential elements are combined within her backgrounds, which are inspired by William Morris’ style. Each painting contains something different and each one shows a much-loved object from Swinford’s personal trove.
Every inch of the paintings have such meticulous detail and show the love and care that went into creating them. Each painting is wrapped in an ornate original masters’ frame that compliments the painting.
‘Flowers with Fans’ shows breathtakingly stunning pink and yellow flowers that spread out and capture the viewers gaze instantly. The ‘pretty in pink’ tone of the flowers contrasts beautifully with the royal blue background and dark miniature floral motif border. The vase rests on a yellow surface coated in multi-coloured fans, varying in size, fluttering around.
‘Flowers with Birds’ hold a much more simple display. A kaleidoscopic bouquet rests in a mint vase, while matching coloured birds float around each corner of the painting. The rich burgundy background couples magnificently with the golden pattern of the worktop the vase rests on.
The Rebecca Hossack Gallery offers its own little touches to the exhibition, such as vases full of blooming yellow roses, petite wooden desks and colourfully decorated walls, making the viewer’s experience all the more welcoming. For those who would like to revisit summer one last time before plunging into the reality of winter ahead, “Flower Bomb” is a must-see.
“Flower Bomb” is on at Rebecca Hossack until the 28th October 2017. More information may be found here.