01.09.2021
BTS: Flowers in a vase


Good things often taken time. And I really feel that way about my newest project ‘Flowers in a vase’. Sometimes creative brewing time is what makes things special. It usually is a luxury to have so much time to work on projects.

Last winter, Ariella (of Rae Blooms) approached me about doing a collaboration together. Her brief was clear; to combine her real bouquets with the artificial flower sculptures that I had been making. Ariella’s bouquets are so organic and alive, I thought ‘gosh, my floral sculptures will look so stupid and fake besides her truly living floral arrangements’.


Examples of Ariella’s work


The merging of flowers had to be one, were they worked together in harmony, rather than competing with one another. I had some mirror samples lying around that I was planning to make Christmas decorations from and then thought that mirror would be the perfect material for the sculptures in this project. I then began to sketch out floral elements, based upon the types of arrangement Ariella creates. Her compositions are so refreshing and playful - I designed lots of anthuriums, orchards and crab claws.


First prototypes

The first idea was to create individual mirrored stems that could be placed into Ariella’s bouquets, see images above. But this did not feel right. The scale of the mirrored flowers was far too small (to fully reflect the composition of the blooms) and also when placed in the bouquet the mirrored stems were becoming invisible and disappearing. However, we did know that we loved seeing a flower look at its reflection in a mirror the same shape as them. Time to rethink.


Mock-ups of vases

The surface area of the mirrors needed to be much larger to fully reflect Ariella’s blooms. After sometime playing around in my sketchbook and Illustrator, I designed three bouquets that sat in vases. The floral arrangements in these were selected by Ariella. From here, I created a digital mock-up (see above) but those images are impossible to create in real life - such is the problem with photoshopping. We had to figure out how to make this impossible image come to life.
 
Sketchbook notes
By this point, I’d got my friend Annie van Noortwijk (who is a brilliant photographer) involved in the project. We whatsapped photos back and forth between the three of us about the best way to arrange the flowers in the mirror’s reflections. But the hurdle of the visible vase and the surface the flowers lived on, kept tripping us up. Gravity is a pain.

Come shoot day, we decided to throw the rules of gravity out of the window and create air ikebana. Ariella arranged the flowers, against the laws of physics and created the most playful compositions - a bouquet that can only really exist in an image.

I love working in this way, when the outcome isn’t obvious at the beginning and working with others whose craft is different to mine. I’m always looking for new collaborators, so if you’re reading this and would like to work together, don’t hesitate to drop me a mail ;-)

Shoot day



The three final vases

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12.05.2021
Feature: House & Garden Magazine, May 2021


This month, my Freshly Cut Flowers sculptures were featured in House & Garden magazine. They were part of a feature called ‘Petal Power’ showing floral interior designs, styled beautifully by Rémy Mishon.



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08.02.2021
Everpress: Visual artists to watch in 2021
Last month I was beyond flattered to be picked as one of Everpress’s visual artists to watch in 2021. You can read the article here. There are lots of other interesting artists on the list - one of my favourites being Alice Kelly who pushes the weaving trend of 2021 to the next level.



Of course, as Everpress are THE champions of t-shirts I have launched a campaign with them. It is called Spring Greens, available in both short and long sleeves. For all the romantics like me, here is the blurb:

“The days are getting longer and all the leaves haves fallen from the trees - the only way is up! Not long until spring is around the corner and this tee is just the garment to get you in the mood for greener days ahead! The past year I have spent so much time looking out of my window watching the big tree outside my flat change drastically across the seasons. I know that when the first green sprouts will start to emerge on the branches, it’s a sign of better days ahead. Days spent swimming in the canals, dancing outdoors and cycling in the sunshine!”



Available until 17th February.
Shop Spring Greens here.

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21.01.2021
Altijd hongerig — Always hungry

Some people follow their hearts but I unapologetically follow my stomach. As a child I would ask my mum what was for dinner whilst eating my breakfast; no wonder she says I always think at least two meals ahead. And to this day food is one of my predominate thoughts, motivators and pleasures in life.

I could write an essay on the complex relationship I have to food being a female or the moral decisions we make with our supermarket choices. But instead I have chosen to stick to a territory I feel familiar with and well versed in… random cool things I found online! Below is a round up of my top five foodie finds:

Photography from purautz.com


#1 - Pura Utz’s beaded fruit


These non-edible ornaments are brilliant - I didn’t know that a beaded orange was what my life was missing, until I set eyes on these! Not only are they fabulous coffee table decorations but Pura Utz make it their mission to ensure that the Mayan women in Guatemala they hire are paid accordingly for their immaculate craft skills. Giving them sufficient pay to be able to take care of themselves properly and plan for their futures. No junk or mass produced food here, only thoughtfully crafted one off objects.




Photography from @pampshade

#2 - Pampshade


Yukiko Morita is the brains behind Pampshade. After working in a bakery for many years, she “wanted many people to experience the inviting charm of bread” and these beautiful, baked goods she has created do just that. Each lamp is unique and made using real bread (loaves which would have been thrown away at the end of the day) combined with the wizardry of Morita’s artist skills. In a world where it feels that carbs often can’t catch a break, it is such a delight to see these glowing croissants and baguettes - good enough to eat!



 From left to right: Cecilia’s pink pasta with beetroot & dill, Anna Boulogne, Julia Syrzistie & Charlotte Bowie




#3 - Plate Talks x Still Here Still Life


A foodie can spot another foodie from far off and Cecilia most definitely is one! She is the brains behind Plate Talks a website which combines recipes, travel and food related chat - all in the most excellent taste too. During the first lockdown Still Here Still Life (an Instagram-based drawing platform) teamed up with Plate Talks; Cecilia doing live cook alongs on IGTV and the final meal becoming the illustration brief for the next seven days. I love the concept so much and it’s a fun drawing task too! I’ve never had the courage to post my sketches online but would highly recommend it as a source of drawing inspiration and a delicious way to get more talented, young illustrators on your radar too.




In the Kitchen, published by Daunt Books



#4 - In the Kitchen: Essays on Food and Life


Here is my order of preference when it comes to food: eating food, preparing food, talking about food and lastly reading about food. Books like Eat up, Toast and Heartburn bring such joy and comfort to me, discovering writers who put into words perfectly my obsession with all the rituals around eating. This collection of essays has a similar stance to food as those three books I previously listed - food is a way to love. It can be used to seduce, comfort, steal, smother - like many of the essayists in In the Kitchen the relationships in my life are remembered by certain meals and particular recipes. This book was very easy to read with the likes of Rachel Roddy and Ruby Tandoh submitting entries. However my one criticism of the book is that it had a predominately female view on the kitchen, I would love to hear more stories of how the other sex deal with food and if it is loaded with an equal measure of emotion for them.



Photography from @nicolemclaughlin


#5 - Nicole McLaughlin’s art


This one is one we all know and love already! But I thought it would be rude not to mention Nicole McLaughlin’s artworks. Her simple, playful ideas are always executed immaculately - no wonder she has such a huge, adoring following and a star studded list of brands wanting her spin on their products.

That’s all for now!
Bon appetit / Eet smakelijk / Enjoy your tea!

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11.12.2020
Diary


For some time now I have wanted to add this section to my website. I have always loved documenting my process, inspirations and BTS online, whether on Blogspot (back in the day!) or Instagram - I’m truly a sucker for the internet and sharing creativity! Recently I have found Instagram very uninspiring and not that great for my mental health either; hence why I’m getting a bit old school and starting a ‘diary’ on this very page you are reading.

In terms of the type of content, I’m going to go with the flow and not set too many rules about what will live here and frequency.


In this entry I want to talk about a book I thoroughly enjoyed reading back in October: Ways of Curating by Hans Ulrich Obrist. It’s one of those seductive looking Penguin Classics, which you normally see at the counter of the Tate gift shop that oddly I never bought, until earlier this year.

Of course I vaguely knew who Hans Ulrich Obrist because of his strong link to the Serpentine Gallery and weirdly what he looks like too! And in this book I found it interesting to read how he considers himself purely a curator, not a curator/artist which is a job title I hear thrown around a lot. In a world of multi-hyphenated creatives his singularity in what he does was refreshing to learn about.

“I don’t believe in the creativity of the curator. I don’t think that the exhibition-maker has brilliant ideas around which the works of artists must fit. Instead, the process always starts with a conversation, in which I ask the artists what their unrealized projects are, and then the task is to find the means to realize them. At our first meeting, Boetti said curating could be about making impossible things possible.”


This notion of unrealised projects really struck a cord with me. I find as a creative/artist so often I am defined by my existing portfolio and the work I have already made - asked to do remakes of existing projects. This way that Hans speaks to artists is something that I wish to bring to future conversations I have and also how I would like to be spoken too. ‘Making impossible things possible’ is a fantastic attitude to have. In a world where projects are often discussed in terms of limitations (eg: time, budget, laws of gravity) we are often setting ourselves up to fail with this negative speak. This impossible/possible mentality is, in my opinion, responsible to the success and originality of his exhibitions.

The do it exhibition series curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist is an open exhibition model, consisting of instructions written by the artists to be carried out at the venue of the show. No physical matter is sent to the gallery from the artist but the following of their instructions become the artworks themselves. Which naturally will vary from location to location and of course the individual who carries out the ‘performances’. I have always been a huge fan of DIY and this format invented by Hans makes my heart sing. It is so simple and our imaginations are put to work; rather than standing vacantly in front of paintings and staring for a time that feels socially acceptable our minds are put to work. Also the focus of the exhibition shifts from ‘is this good?’ to ‘what exactly is this?’, which I think is a far more interesting discussion to have.

Funnily enough, whilst scrolling through Instagram after reading this book I saw that Buffalo Zine’s latest issue is ‘Buffalo does it’ edited by none other than Hans Ulrich Obrist. What better time to set artists tasks to do than now, when we are trapped at home due to our local COVID regulations. Being told what to do, in a time when we have no idea what to do - perfect! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, it wasn’t available at my local magazine shop (who are excellent stockists usually) so I will order online instead. Will report back.

Back to ‘Ways of Curating’ - I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys setting foot in a gallery. Personally it inspired me to be more collaborative when working with others, have more meaningful conversations (note to self: don’t be afraid to initiate conversation with strangers or arranging studio visits on my travels) and to not let limitations restrict my work. In a world that feels more segregated than ever (especially as the Brexit deadline looms) I will leave you these words from the book, as a parting thought …

“Regions and continents are even more so [outdated], and it’s very important to acknowledge that we’re living in a transnational moment. It seemed important to go beyond national boundaries and focus instead on cities – because the driving force of the 1990s was really these urban mutations.”


References: Ways of Curating, do it & Buffalo Zine