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A symbol of love, nature, and beauty, in art and life, flowers are appropriated as a motif for regeneration, a gesture of goodwill, or an act of care. But flowers are also symbols of loss, used to mark the tragedy of death, or the atrocities of war. A new online exhibition, Strange Flowers, considers this conflicting symbol. “The artworks here are like these flowers,” write the curators. “They are radical expressions of racial struggle, life and hope. The artists have created them as testimonies to the complex world we inhabit, and we are celebrating them as symbols of the struggle, the fight and the great war for equality among all.”

Co-curated by Elizabeth Fleur Willis and Nnena Nwakodo, the exhibition follows a successful print sale organised in support of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer. The Fundraiser raised £213,000, which was donated to over 20 different charities, including Black Minds Matter, Grenfell Foundation, 4Front Project, and the US Combined Bail Funds.

The exhibition, which goes live at 6pm on 11 February 2021, includes work by Ngadi Smart, Samuel Bradley, Max Miechowski, Elena Cremona, and Rhiannon Adam, among many more, will run alongside a print sale. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to causes supporting the BIPOC community, as well as to support the participating artists. 

Strange Flowers can be accessed on The Earth Issue, from 11 February until 11 April.

Marigold Warner

Marigold Warner joined the British Journal Photography in April 2018, and currently holds the position of Online Editor. She studied English Literature and History of Art at the University of Leeds, followed by an MA in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London. Her work has been published by titles including the Telegraph Magazine, Huck, Gal-dem, Disegno, and the Architects Journal.

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