Michael Boffey uses bronze to create contemporary versions of floral vanitas. The motif of the flower as an emblem of the fleetingness of life is centuries-old, and was particularly popular in Dutch painting of 1600s. Michael works in a foundry and has developed a means of casting flowers so that despite their fragility he can render them in metal. Presented as wall panels, these short-lived floral compositions are described in a tough and timeless material. Surface cracks and patination add a sense of decay and decadence, but the fragile heart is captured precisely all the same. In combining the vanitas tradition with the classical weight of bronze, Michael’s works speak both of impermanence and solidity at the same time.
Michael Boffey was born in Liverpool. He trained at Loughborough College of Art and Design (BA (hons) 1994) and De Montfort University (1997, MA with Distinction). He has participated in group shows at The Royal College of Art (2013), The Collection, Lincolnshire (2009), Bow Arts (2008), the Catacombs Gallery, St Pancras Church (2003), and London Cable Street (1999). In 2013 he was a finalist in the National Open Art Competition.