Alice McCabe is a multi-media artist, creating floral installations, paintings, performances and art education sessions using flowers and cheap or free materials of an ephemeral nature. Underpinning her work is a love of misunderstanding and humour, gleaned from a keen interest in Dada. Most of her works contain a joke or clue in the title to help the viewer get closer to - or further away - from the content of the piece. Integral to her practice as a floral artist is to create both sustainable and conceptual designs drawing attention via flowers and their meanings to point to other contexts alongside their beauty.
For Glass Cloud Gallery, McCabe has created ‘Fieldworks’ an installation of floral tapestries made from dried, repurposed and foraged floral materials inserted into a mesh structure in gestures almost like painting. Given their exposure to sunlight the materials will change colour over the course of the exhibition, reminding us of the seasons and referencing the fascination for bringing nature indoors as well as our increased observation of nature this year. Atop of the natural background are badges of chopped up ephemera from exhibitions visited, botanical drawings and the artist’s archive of photographs ‘inspired by nature’. These tokens insert a sense of distance from floral material and reading of landscape, teasing our ability to understand nature and our representation of it.
The concept behind ‘Fieldworks’ is rooted in the philosophy of natural farmer Masanobu Fukuoka, a self professed ‘do-nothing’ farmer. He advocated for observation and experiments in farming relying on flashes of inspiration over intellectual knowledge, commenting that the minute we think we know nature therein lies the probability we do not and the only option is to go and have another look. This piece aims at capturing this inquisitiveness, whilst also encouraging reconsideration of our individual and collective responsibility towards our environment.
About Alice McCabe
Alice McCabe (b.Melbourne, Australia) lives and works in London. She studied Fine Art Painting at the University of Brighton before moving to Switzerland to research and perform at “There-There School of English Dada.” She completed a Masters in Arts Education at the Zurich University of the Arts in 2014 exploring ‘misunderstanding as a tool for communication.’ With fifteen years experience as a florist, McCabe works to make flowers a more accessible, sociable and sustainable art form. She started her own business Alice McCabe Flowers in 2016, offering assistance to artists wishing to work with flowers as well as offering more conceptual event design. Recent projects includes the creation of floral displays for launch of BBC Blue Planet II, One Planet: Seven Worlds and new Natural History Programme, at M&S Arena, Liverpool 2017, 2019 and 2020; The Cultivar Residency, sponsored by The Museum of the Flat Earth, Fogo Island, ‘Adventitious Routes and Rhizomes’ exploring political displacement with Amy Ash. Exhibitions include Floral Heraldry at PEER GALLERY, London (2017) and Go Figure at Cob Gallery, London (2014). She was nominated for the ZF Kunststiftung Scholarship, Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen, Germany (2015).