Night Flower, (London VII), 2004
Gareth McConnell

Night Flower Gareth McConnell Sorika Small

A rare chance to own one of the artists most iconic photographs. As held in numerous collections including British Council & UBS and featured in various overviews including Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography…. read an excerpt of Alison Green’s text below. 

Night Flower (London VII), 2004
Edition of 50 + 10 AP
Fuji Crystal Archive paper
with gloss finish
25.4 x 20.3 cm (10 × 8 in)
Signed, numbered and dated by the artist
Certificate of authenticity

Quantity:

‘Flowers are, of course, deeply symbolic of renewal. Their beauty is bound up in the knowledge that it is momentary. Beauty pierces your heart because it is painful. It is about loss, transience, and wonder at its very existence.

Gareth McConnell’s photographs of his bed and flowers have to be understood with his other work in mind. The motivation and poignance behind the images in Meditations (2004–08), Night Flowers (2002–10), make little sense if you don’t know McConnell’s shocking and affective images in the series Anti-Social Behaviour Parts I & II (1995) — victims of paramilitary punishment beatings in his homeland of Northern Ireland, or IV drug users who were his friends and sometime community. This is true of beautiful things, isn’t it? Beauty is cloying and saccharine when it’s too easily granted.

McConnell shoots Night Flowers in ambient light and with a long exposure. He takes the pictures during nocturnal walks, another temporal experience out of the workaday. Similar to the beds, the flowers become still, central objects, isolated from their context (they are not hothouse but urban flowers, growing alongside commercial strips and housing estates). In some, a spray is classically composed against a background, blossoms burgeoning; in others the image is blurred, or the light intensely artificial, acidic. They are the dusty, forlorn cultivars grown on the streets of any city, but they are prize winners, too. McConnell asks with these pictures, can you find hope when and where it’s least expected?’

Alison Green (originally written for Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography)

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SORIKA believes that art should be for all (well at least for whoever wants it) and that the market price of much contemporary art (or as we like to term it ’home decoration for rich c**ts‘ ) places it beyond the reach of all but the few… however just to be clear, SORIKA is not part of the ‘affordable art’ movement… we are not Sunday painters or dabblers… we have engaged with the world of contemporary / commercial art but have consciously rejected it (the work offered for sale today for instance sold in 72 x 60 inch, edition of 3 format at Frieze circa 2004 for over £10,000). On the flip side to debauched excess we sometimes seem to live in a world where everyone wants everything for free and the working artist (with the exception of the ‘chosen few’) finds it harder and harder to monetize her / his work, neither are we a bunch of worthy do-gooders seeking a life of penury and hardship so if much of this seems contradictory it is because it is!!… and it is in this fog of confusion and divergence that we are trying to survive long enough to make the next work or undertake the next project. SORIKA is independent and not beholden to anyone or anything and would not fill in an Arts Council application if their collective lives depended on it. SORIKA would also like to state that they they reject the current system of educational debt bondage and at no time accept academic invitations to engage with this swindle (so no tenure or teaching hours to fall back on being the point of that statement). SORIKA condemns free labour (or internships as is it is more commonly known) and calls for an end to this disgraceful and exploitative practice. SORIKA aims to exist and survive on its own terms outside all various institutions, systems, sponsorships and accepted frameworks that currently prevail and we encourage others to join us. SORIKA has bills to pay so in buying a print, book or poster from this website you are not only purchasing a beautiful life enhancing object you are also helping to enable an idea unfold and develop that might otherwise not, you are taking a positive action that in turn enables others to do the same… and that is a wonderful thing.

***The above is not a manifesto or a comprehensive overview or statement… it just kinda came out… It has however got the juices flowing so keep your eye out for an up-date!***