Flower Boys

Jennifer Pattison

Flower Boys is a series of portraits made from 2013 to 2016.

The project emerged through a couple of noticed moments. Visiting my hometown in Sussex for the weekend I had seen Victorian miniature paintings in a local gallery; in the tiny paintings all the women appeared supine, holding flowers. All the men were puffed up in heroic uniforms. Back in Hackney, East London where I lived at the time, I watched boys with long hair and bright silk bomber jackets glide by. I found these different codes of dressing interesting. I wanted to reflect this soft side of men which I wasn’t seeing enough of. Pairing each subject with a different bloom, I began to imagine a world where anyone can hold flowers.
Styled by Christopher Kelly & Joanna Simpson, street cast by Joanna Simpson and myself. Special thanks to McQueen's florist for supporting the project with their wonderful flowers.

Artist biography

Jennifer’s portraits are arresting and full of unselfconscious expression. Her practice is rooted in portraiture working predominantly with staged photography. Magical characters, flower boys, mothers and women appear as a vehicle to explore themes of identity, mortality and female experience.
Jennifer has exhibited internationally and received numerous awards. Selected for the Trace Mentorship Programme in May 2022 to continue her work on mothering. Shortlisted for the 8th Dentons Art Prize. Commissioned in 2017 to produce new work funded by the Arts Council England and British Council’s Re-Imagine India cultural exchange programme.