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Ceramic tulips get new life at Chelsea

If you are one of the few people in East London who didn’t see the ceramic tulips around the Tower of London, there’s a chance to catch artist Paul Cummins’s work at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show later this month. The work won’t be on quite the same scale, of course – but we are promised an 8 metre high sculpture, covered with thousands of hand-painted ceramic tulips.

The sculpture, inspired by the 2015 Chelsea creative, will be located in the Great Pavilion. This 12,000sq m marquee, the jewel in the crown of the flower show, will again be filled with more than 100 beautiful floral displays by the world’s leading nurseries and growers.

Paul Cummins said: “Following the success of Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red at the Tower of London in 2014, I was delighted to have been invited by the RHS to show a new piece of art at the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show. The new sculpture has been inspired by tulips as well as the Dutch tulipomania of the 17th century, which saw single tulip bulbs exchanged for the price of houses. The sculpture comments on the marketplace, how we buy and sell commodities; how all objects acquire value and are traded, including flowers. Desirability and collecting are a large theme of my new works, and tulips will play a large role over the next year, so I thought that this would be the perfect place to showcase my art.”

RHS Head of Shows, Nick Mattingley, said: “The Great Pavilion will be, as always, filled with the most spectacular floral displays you’re likely to see anywhere in the world, and this marvellous tower of tulips is yet another very special feature that will be sure to delight visitors.”

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show takes place from 19th to 23rd May at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Tickets must be booked in advance. For more information, ring 0844-338 7546 or go to: www.rhs.org.uk/chelsea

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