Peace Rose

Peace Rose is a bronze casting of a Chicago Peace Rose. The work was developed after Roch-Cuerrier read an article about the Rosa Peace: a hybrid rose created at the start of the Second World War. Developed in 1935 by Francis Meilland, a French horticulturist, cuttings were sent in 1936 to its international correspondents to protect the new rose from imminent war. Now famous for its history and for the symbolism that goes with it, it has been used prodigiously for commemorative events surrounding the end of the war and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the spring of 2019, Roch-Cuerrier started to cultivate a rose garden. As a gardener, she takes an active role in spreading the history of the Rosa Peace, and she contributes to the material culture that goes with it. By transforming these flowers into bronze sculptures, Roch-Cuerrier explores the monumentality that everyday objects can manifest.

Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Peace Rose, 2019, bronze, World Atlas pigments, 25 x 22 x 58 cm

Even a Chicago peace rose in the flowerbed, so-named for the ending of World War II but whose original stock dates from before the war, signals that rose stock has a history that is understood by gardeners. A rose is not just a rose, but, like other material objects, it is a living gateway to the dynamics between material culture, the contingencies of time, and the spirit of renewal that confront the new paradoxes of cultural aging and its postmodern timelessness with an eternity of other possibilities. Katz, Cultural Aging, 2005

Julie Roch-Cuerrier, Peace Rose, detail