Lively Blooms Suffocate Under Acrylic in Ant Hamlyn’s Pressed Sculptures

plastic pink flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Pink Daisy.” All images © Ant Hamlyn, shared with permission

Thorny roses, toxic bluebells, and the carnivorous Venus flytrap are pinned beneath sheets of acrylic in the works of Ant Hamlyn. The London-based artist (previously) continues his herbarium-style sculptures that consider the human impulse to pick and preserve flowers. Vivid specimens at the height of life are squashed under the synthetic material, appearing supple, lively, and in the midst of suffocation.

In his latest body of work, Love, Death & Velvet, Hamlyn incorporates velvet alongside shiny, inflatable plastic. The soft, smooth fabric is an expensive, laborious textile historically accessible only to the wealthy, and using it for forget-me-not petals and colorful bouquets adds questions of value and comfort to the simultaneously playful and menacing sculptures. “The tactile act of hand stitching, stuffing, and squashing can either be seen as preservation or destruction,” the artist said recently. “Similarly to nostalgia, on one side remembering a fond place or memory, on the other, longing for a time that can never be replaced. I like the idea that my works have this melancholy twist.”

Love, Death & Velvet will open on October 20 at Yusto/Giner in Madrid. Until then, find more of Hamyln’s work on his site and Instagram.

red flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Red Roses”

blue flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Bluebells”

white flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Daisy Disk”

vivid flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Velvet Forget-me-nots”

sunflowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Vase”

vivid flowers are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Velvet Bouquet”

green and red plants are squashed under a clear acrylic panel

“Velvet Venus”

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