Sketch celebrates 200 years of the National Gallery with a budding floral takeover

‘Sketch in Bloom’ is a floral takeover of the London restaurant to celebrate the National Gallery’s 200th birthday

Sketch in Bloom floral installation celebrating 200 years of the National Gallery
The Glade at Sketch, with installation by JamJar Flowers
(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

As London’s National Gallery prepares to celebrate its 200th birthday in 2024, art-focused restaurant Sketch is throwing the perfect bicentenary bash. The tenth annual edition of ‘Sketch in Bloom’ takes over the destination’s Grade ll*-listed, 18th-century building in May, with a series of floral installations transforming the neoclassical interiors into an immersive exhibition that nods to the National Gallery’s most notable artists, from Alfred Sisley to JMW Turner.

Journey through 'Sketch in Bloom'

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

Reception hallway, installation by Rebel Rebel

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Sketch is known for turning its interior architecture into a canvas for artists and designers, from Martin Creed to David Shrigley, Yinka Shonibare and India Mahdavi. and a recent Pearl Lamb Galleries takeover

Now paying tribute to the National Gallery, Sketch embraces the work of four floral artists, whose installations feature throughout the space.

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

Reception, installation by Rebel Rebel

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

On entering, you are greeted by the work of floristry duo Rebel Rebel, which has adorned the arched reception with botanical wallpaper. Fifteen prints inspired by National Gallery favourites stand proud. Each week the duo will present new bouquets – with blooms mostly cut from their Norfolk garden – as a still-life arrangement. The centrepiece is an interpretation of Edouard Manet’s portrait of muse and painter Eva Gonzalès, which is surrounded with a gold frame suspended from the ceiling, an allows visitors to become part of the painting.

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

Chocolate stairs, installation by Rebel Rebel

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Journeying through to the Lecture Room and Library, Lucy Vail from Lucy Vail Floristry has crafted an installation in tribute to the ‘forgotten impressionist’ Alfred Sisley, who gathered his inspiration from the British landscape and English heritage. Titled Pastoral Inspiration, the floral centrepiece of delicately pressed flowers is a reimagining of Sisley’s The Small Meadows in Spring.

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

The Lecture Room and Library, installation by Lucy Vail Floristry

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Taking over The Glade’s lofty ceiling, JamJar Flowers combines delicate knots and textiles that drape down into the space. The south London design studio worked with fabric installation artist Mia Sylvia, and utilised botanical materials, from flax fibres to elephant grass, to recreate the colour and movement of JMW Turner’s Ulysses Deriding Polyphemus.

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

The Glade, installation by JamJar Flowers

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Floral designer Yan Skates showcases Plant Beings, his take on the National Gallery’s A Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder. Skates’ floral characters have seemingly leapt off the painting in a human form, and are positioned throughout The East Bar and Pods, with curation by Artistic Statements 

Each artist's playful floral interpretations of iconic paintings immerse visitors in the gallery’s rich cultural legacy.

‘Sketch in Bloom’ will be on display until 27 May 2024 sketch.london

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

Reception, installation by Rebel Rebel

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Sketch 200 years floral display for the National Gallery

The Lecture Room and Library, installation by Lucy Vail Floristry

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Pod Loos

Pod loos, installation by Yan Skates

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Tianna Williams is the Editorial Executive at Wallpaper*. Before joining the team in 2023, she has contributed to BBC Wales, Ford UK, SurfGirl Magazine, and Parisian Vibe, with work spanning from social media content creation to editorial. Now, her role covers writing across varying content pillars for Wallpaper*.