Even if the flowers aren't out yet, this wonderful installation of 10,000 clay flowers will make your heart sing. Called Out of Sync, they are "planted" in the courtyard of London's Somerset House.
Set against the grand architecture of the 18th century museum, the flowers signal the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The spectacular piece was created by a Chilean artist, Fernando Casasempere,
Casasempere specialises in clay sculpture. He pushes the boundaries of his art by experimenting with different mixtures and materials. The Chilean landscape and Pre-Colombian background of South America are always present in his work; whether it be in urban cityscapes such as this, or the countryside.
The clay for the flowers was lugged, all twelve tons of it, from his native Chile. He views clay as a typically South American material. The use of this clay is a way of continuing his sense of national identity since it is from his home country.
The colours and textures that he creates with the material are reminiscent of the Chilean landscape.
As for the clay itself, it is mixed with industrial by-products to ensure that nothing goes to waste. At the end of the exhibition, the piece will be donated to the people of Chile. First it will be on display in Santiago and then it will have permanent residence in the deserts of northern Chile.
Casasempere has a strong interest in ecology and the environment. Other pieces have included clay "tree trunks"situated in a forest. Here too his underlying premise was "I try to work with the landscape and melt into it rather than conquer it."