People sometimes inquire about the origin of my fascination for flowers and floral compositions.
I ask myself the same question...
I was born in Holland, and this must have contributed a bit. Perhaps thanks should go also to my Lebanese-German grandmother who, in the garden of the old family home in southern Limburg, cultivated a plot of her own where she grew countless flowers: roses (her favorites), dahlias, tulips and bushes of forsythia, buddleje and rhododendrons. I remember that in the cellars of the castle she prepared the arrangements on an old ping-pong table. There I improvised as an assistant. She explained to me how to cut the different types of stems-- the toughest branches had to be hammered so that they could drink well-- why to use certain vases rather than others or how to make centerpieces with just a few petals in a cup of water. Then came Italy with so many colors and its heady scents.
I bring this trove of memories to each of my arrangements-- creating new forms of beauty with the help of flowers and nature. This has been my life for several years now.
Over time, my awareness has broadened-- I have an increasingly organic relationship with my compositions and the materials I use.
To tell my story, I must rely on the senses-- all of them-- and beyond. With sight and touch I look for textures, surfaces, reflections. With smell and taste, fragrances and warmth. Music. Each composition is a combination of my discoveries. A collage of stories from the past and the present, like fabrics gathered along a path then sewn together.
I carefully research, gather and locally-source raw materials to use in combination with what I grow in my garden and what the market offers, with a commitment, as much as possible, to finding producers who grow flowers sustainably.
I want to see, feel and approach nature and draw inspiration from it. Working with natural materials reveals not only a purely aesthetic beauty, but also a poetic and intimate beauty.
With their colours and shapes, flowers make life more joyful.