Saying It With Flowers - Robert Janz opening in 'On The Town' in The Irish Times


The life cycle of flowers is explored in new work by Belfast-born artist Robert Janz, which went on view this week in Dublin's Peppercanister Gallery.

This "very recent work" is a continuation "of what I've been doing for 40 years", said Janz. "I like doing time, and the time in a flower is very compact. It blooms for maybe 10 days."

The paintings are concerned with "finding a path, or a way of life", said Lurgan-based architect John D. Kelly , who opened the show. "He's really commenting on the timescale in the flower paintings, which go from bud to bloom to seed."

The show, Garden Gate, "is like a threshold", added Kelly. "You either go into that sanctuary, a safe place. Maybe people will opt out of the real world. There are lots of aspects to that threshold."

A sequence called Narrow Road "is about being on the path, being on the journey and dealing with the different speeds of that track". A series of twig animals, including caribou, look at "the primeval forces that nature has", said Kelly, who was at the show with his wife, artist Rita Duffy .

"It's about the ebb and flow of life, it's the life cycle," said gallery owner Antoinette Murphy . "Also, Robert wants to point up to us the fragility of life."

He wants his twig sculptures, she added, "to disintegrate like we will". Murphy's sister, Helène Hughes , and her niece, interior designer Elaine Hughes , were also at the opening. Others at the show included artist Eithne Carr RHA; chartered accountant Alastair MacDonald ; Carmel Kelly , of the Friends of the National Collections of Ireland; Dick and Jess Sweetnam , from Cabinteely; and Dublin-based Japanese artist Makiko Nakamura .