Simply Flowers

The St Giles Street Gallery, Norwich

I rather dreaded that this exhibition would be over-run with photographs of eroticised calla lilies and pastiche oil sunflowers.

And although proudly flaunting the aforementioned, I'm pleased to say there was also some fresh interpretation of the floral theme.

The most notable being a collaboration between celeb-rity photographer David Koppel and artist John Kiki.

Still Life on Mars features a pin-stripped reclining David Bowie on to whom a bouquet and schematic pair of hands have been cheekily overpainted.

The paint is applied in thick bright gestures direct from the tube creating a striking contrast against the black and white photographic image.

In what is perhaps a playfully ironic gesture, gallery owner Koppel also chooses to display a photograph of a female seductively sporting a single red rose in her curved ebony back alongside the series of contemporary collaborative pieces.

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Other captivatingly humorous works in trademark Kiki style are The Gift, depicting a boldly bouffant blonde, and Dripping in Love an image of a racy pink lady whose crudely expressive features really made me chuckle.

I find the combination of impasto paint and bare canvas in Kiki's work really stimulating.

Narrowly avoiding kitsch, the pastel series by Patricia Marks gives precedence to the decorative and Red Roses in Provencal Jug is a pleasant enough Matisse-style homage.

Patricia Whyberd intro-duces a collage element to her paintings, interspersing newspaper petals amongst the watercolour and using sketchy black outlines to give the composition a more modern feeling.

If you are the romantic type and inclined towards sentimental imagery, then there is a fantastic selection of printing techniques plus both oils and watercolours with which to indulge your delicate cravings.

t The exhibition continues at The St Giles Street Gallery until September 17.

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