Camilla Bo’ is an Italian freelance journalist and stylist. After two years of study in Paris she returned to her native Rome to study architecture. The art of critique proved more fruitful for Camilla and she began to write for the Association of Art and Critic about art and design and on her personal blog Choufouchouf. Focusing on the relation and communication between fashion and art, she decided to follow her creative nature not only giving a voice to the library she has on her laptop but also as inspiration for editorials. She’s now based in London, attending the course of «Art Direction for Fashion» at the Central Saint Martins College of Art.
It’s a cold morning in London and Amira is here after a long long trip in China, Mongolia, Hungary, Germany and France. She has a silver suitcase with her, full of precious photographs from the trip.
When she gave me her heavy book and I started to look at her work I could feel her alert gaze upon me. She is so graceful, attentive and absent at the same time. I can recognize her in her pictures, so simple and powerful.
Nature is always present in her projects. So it's natural to think that it's where she likes to be the most.
She explains that is the primitive side of nature which fascinate her and it is actually what she captures in her pictures, but then she prefers to live in big cities.
Every time you see Amira’s pictures, you can find something different. You can hang them on the wall and I’m sure you’ll never be tired to look at them. There is a special harmony between colours, subjects and composition that makes you feel peaceful.
You're one of the few that still snaps in analog format. It 's easy to see why. Do you have any secrets to create a special atmosphere on the photos in the darkroom? Do you use particular types of paper or materials during the printing phase?
I think my biggest secret is to spend a lot of time with my pictures in the darkroom and to be open to experimentation. I sometimes play with the chemicals, use pre-flashed paper and move the paper while I am exposing the film, but these are all effects that could be done easily with photoshop. What makes my work improve is the time I put into it - you have to imagine, a colour darkroom is a total black space. There is no distraction possible. There are no calls, as the phone would lighten the paper, no computer, no internet, no one opening the door. You are totally alone and there is only darkness surrounding you. To put myself in this kind of restrictive situation somehow rubs off on the images and transforms them into objects. For me, it's like giving them a soul.
Your works are closer to paintings than to photographs. I mean there seems to be an influence of film sources or pictorial sources. Did you do any work in the past that has characterized so much your language?
While I studied in Vienna and part of my time in Berlin I worked as a movie projectionist. Always in little independent cinemas. So I have spent thousands of hours staring through a little window watching parts of movies. For sure, that influenced my work.
I ‘ve always been fascinated by your pictures with flowers covering faces… It reminds me to a vase. The men is the vase, the container of something alive. Why do you love cover people faces with the flower compositions?It is a choice dictated by aesthetic criteria or does it mean anything to you in particular?
I like to express feelings through my work. To make them visible for the viewer, I suppose a transformation into the surreal is sometimes necessary for this to happen. The idea to cover people's faces came from making portraits of my family. I have been familiar with these faces my whole life, so I responded to them in a different way than a stranger would. I put the flowers there to translate my perception into a visual format - to show the faces how I see them.
The flowers chosen for your set-up are often out of context, even if you're shooting in the woods or in a field you have the idea of a real set. And perhaps there lies the strength of your images. It 's always like that or there were some natural places you do not want them to change?
I am still looking for that place which looks exactly how it feels. I guess I would never leave if I found it.
Which artist you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Which are your next projects?
I recently traveled from Shanghai to Paris purely using transportation on land. Siberia was part of the trip, the landscape is just crazy there. It's so cold for most of the year and then in the short summer, people, animals and plants are blossoming in such an intense way. I think, I have to go back there.
bring the outdoors in
New York-based stylist and Bloom magazine contributor Shane Powers is pleased to release his first book, 'Bring The Outdoors In' (Chronicle, 2013). Photographed by Gentl & Hyers, this fresh and aesthetic lifestyle book offers original and creative ways to blur the boundaries between outside and inside.
Powers says that he's been fascinated by the natural world for as long as he can remember: "I didn't start working on botanicals until I got a job as a photo stylist for the groundbreaking publication Bloom. The founder, Lidewij Edelkoort, encouraged me to think beyond traditional uses, and focus on plants and flowers as more dynamic elements. I began to look at their shapes, colors, and textures with a new perspective… While trends in flowers and gardening may come and go, the ideas in this book have a timeless appeal to be enjoyed and referenced for years to come. The projects are not gardening projects; they are three-dimensional still lifes, miniature worlds designed to enhance your interiors.”
Edelkoort sees Shane Powers as a landscape designer of mental matter: "with the powers to transcend beauty with creative control and imagination, for you to grasp and make your own as an enlightening personal experience". Enjoy!
New York City readers will be able to attend the book launch from 6-8 PM on February 21 @ West Elm, 1870 Broadway (between 61st - 62nd Streets)
tools for peace
Federico Hewson, international performance artist, has turned social entrepreneur to market and brand flowers as tools for peace.
He started the "Valentine Peace Project" five years ago in the USA to generate a bigger hearted love for Valentine's Day. Federico collected dozens of love & peace poems in different languages from around the world - working with US flower companies, students in Los Angeles and volunteers.
Then, the "Valentine Peace Project" moved to Amsterdam and began working with Fairtrade . On February 14, through the streets and canals of Amsterdam, thousands of donated Fairtrade roses were given out with poems in a huge sweep! Federico is collaborating now with the Dutch Flower Industry to cultivate and market tulips dedicated to peace.They are both working with schools and communities to construct peace poetry gardens for the International Day of Peace in September.
For Federico, the Flower Industry could be more dynamic in flower design and more involve in fair-trade.
The "Valentine Peace Project" wants to connect our common global humanity through the appreciation of flowers and poems, which are reflections of inner peace. Flowers have also a political dimension since ever.They have been symbols for many revolutions up to the current Tunisian Jasmine revolution - part of the Arab Spring."
"Flowers continue to be symbols of enlightenment and revolution as well as means of urban regeneration, and now items of Fairtrade and global development." By branding flowers as tools for peace Federico plans to push forward this conversation.
Dietlind Wolf's work is multiple: she is a propstylist, a photographer, an illustrator, a designer… exactly the kind of person we love at Trendtablet. We are happy to share with you one of her latest work on poppies with a personal and powerful expression of colour.
We asked Dietlind to give us some keys to better understand her work and personality.
"For my final examination I spend a month in India, to write and recreate the story of madras checks. It was the first time in my life I lived "inside" the colours I knew only from colour pigments before.
In the field of creating prêt-à-porter and Haute Couture textiles, I found the way to materialize colour into textile, to play with materials and to create new ones.
Those two experiences really shaped me.
I then had years of experience in styling for food and still-life photos. Digital photography allows me to play with real materials: with flowers or with my porcelains. As a stylist, I build a bouquet and focus on it, and after, I "ruin" it, or in other words, I use my finger and my hand as brushes. I transform the still life into something more textile, always with a need of balance between form, colour and contrast. At the end, it touches me when everything play well together."
Makoto Murayama is a New Media artist, with a background in computer graphics illustration. His most recent exhibition, “Inorganic Flora,” was displayed at the Frantic Gallery in Tokyo. Using cutting-edge software and 3D modeling, Murayama creates synthetic images that reveal new possibilities for botanical illustration in the Digital Age. A meditation on the margins, Inorganic Flora merges the beauty of nature with the art of scientific progress.
Murayama’s exhibition stems from the botanical illustrations of Ancient Greece as well as the sketches of Tomitaro Makino (a pioneer in Japanese botanical illustration.) His work is also inspired by Yoshihiro Inomoto — a master of automobile illustration — as well as by the art of engineering configured during the age of the Industrial Revolution, and X-ray art of the late 20 th century.
Murayama begins by making a vivisection of a flower, takes multiple close-up photos and then sketches the inner cavity of each flower. Afterwards, he uses several different software programs: 3ds Max for form and structure; Adobe Photoshop for separate parts and composition; and Adobe Illustrator to add indications of elements, scale and scientific names.
Finally, Murayama makes large-scale digital c-prints, and frames each with transparent Plexiglas.
Text by Beth Lauck.
une vision végétale
In Toulouse, France, at the Fondation pour l'Art Contemporain until the end of february you can visit the exhibition: Bloom, une vision végétale.
"A new romantic yet also realistic view of living in the country has emerged.The current financial crisis and our concerns about ecology have contributed to the rethinking of our existence in the challenging and stressful city, while advances in information technology have participated in setting humans free from a fixed location within the urban environment."
Some french press articles on the exhibition
The expansive landscapes of children’s imaginations know no boundaries and have the power to transcend reasoning and logic. Dressing up, role-playing and telling stories sweeps us away to a magical alternative plane, where flora and fauna can provide mysterious props and where uncanny resemblances bring to life new floral friends.
Vee Speers’ hand-coloured photographic images transform childhood memories into haunting portraits of the future, inviting us to join an imaginative garden party and charming us with narrative masks, ballooning blooms, blown bubbles and fluttering birds of paradise.
Yet the arresting images in Speers’ œuvre reveal the unfettered dark side of the children, as we watch them turn into post-nuclear street fighters, sinister shamans adorned with dead animals, armed activists and bad-tempered fairies with the power to unleash their merciless ways.
Text by Philip Fimmano
sacred flower circles
The work of Kathy Klein offers a glimpse of the eternal. She creates danmalas, in vedic sanskrit dān: the giver, mālā: garland of flowers; the giving of flower circles. These spiritual offerings reflect the wisdom of nature and a sense of the sublime. Through guided meditation, Klein gathers flowers and other natural objects to generate a vivid spectrum of color, pattern and texture. Each design is unique, governed by the rhythms of the seasons and the innate beauty of the natural world. Her praxis is archetypal, her creations: enigmatic.
Klein’s danmalas illuminate a rare aesthetic. Relying solely on what she finds in any given environment, Klein reminds us of the importance of living and creating locally, without forgetting what it means to be a part of a global collective.
bewitched by the bel objet
In search of fantasy and surprise, we seek new alliances between the decadence-twinged purely decorative and the lush down-to-earth generosity of the vegetable garden. We are inspired to forage for precious potager treasures among the many wonders at the traditional gold- and silversmith’s shop Lappara, working dreams into metal since 1893 in Paris’ Marais district. Where the utilitarian kitchen meets the ultimate hedonism, gleaming bunnies, gourds, and artichokes cast in gold, silver and gilded bronze nestle among green cabbages.
Where the ephemeral richness of the vegetable in its prime meets the eternal objet, metal glimmers nobly in the shadows of the night kitchen, suggesting the preparation of bounteous feasts and the ludic, erotic, mysteriously narrative decoration of the house. Text by Michelle Anderson-Binczak
San Francisco-based urban knitter Heather Powazek Champ and guerrilla gardener Derek Powazek decided to combine their forces and came up with the the very best of both worlds. The couple started installing so-called ‘plant pockets’, low-maintenance species in beautifully hand-knitted yarn pockets, all over San Francisco. They call their project "Plantbombing," and it combines Heather's love of "urban knitting" and Derek's skill at gardening.
Using yarn, a bit of soil, and some hardy plants, the result is a hands-off, smile-inducing work of art. Derek gives some advice on selecting suitable species like Echeveria and Aeonium - two plants that do quite well in San Francisco climate. Do it yourself : all details are on their websites….
Jessica Viola is a botanical designer, she spent the past decade cultivating her design portfolio based on sustainability and artistic vision. She got a background in organic and botanical design and a strong passion for plants, ecology, culture and creative expression. So, Jessica is not only a garden designer, she also designs modern botanical jewels. Those living amulets act as a vehicle to inspire greater environmental consciousness by deepening our relationship to plants.
All jewelry is handmade and designed using sustainably harvested and ecologically responsible materials, including natural fibers and hemp, rare and inspired gems from friends around the globe, fine chains including 24K gold overlay, sterling silver, rose gold, copper, brass and recycled metals, and rare species of Tillandsias (air plants) that are grown organically and sustainably.
Air plants do not require soil, only indirect sun and occasional spritzing. With attention and a bit of care, like any garden, your living garden will bloom and blossom around your neck, next to your heart.
seminar in paris
In april, Lidewij Edelkoort hold a seminar in Paris at Galerie Végétale on Bloom.
Enjoy the mood of this lovely place and the arty setting of Bloom's photo's exhibition.
Bloom was created in 1998, in response to the ever-growing lifestyles inspired by trends in flowers, plants and gardening. Bloom is the first magazine of its kind, analyzing with informative and inspirational photography and texts the major trends in this area, and how this relates to industries as varied as fashion, interiors, design, packaging, cosmetics, food and culture.
Bloom speaks to all levels of the industry, from hybrid creators to growers, from designers to individuals.
In 2003 two sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy had finished college and were sitting in their parents home in Pasadena, California both taking the year off to figure out what the next step in their lives should be.Kate had majored in Creative Writing and Laura studied both Biology and English. Having slightly hippie parents there wasn’t the traditional pressure to jump right into a career. Their mother was an artist and their father was botanist, giving their upbringing an equal balance between creative expression and the microscopic study of nature. Kate explains the impact of her childhood “ Because of that we have always had this connection to the idea of the land in terms of human and natural expression.” Their parents influence combined with fantastic natural beauty of the area, have always fueled their creative impulse, from the start nature was their muse. They grew up submerged in the vast beauty of Northern California in a home that was surrounded by an apple orchard, eucalyptus forest and a tiny rocky beach. Although out of all this rich landscape the most dramatic influence on them was by far the dynamic Redwood Forest.
Throughout their teen years the girls shared an obsession with fashion, but because of their location it remained an isolated interest, an industry that was happening elsewhere that they loved from a distance.The idea of approaching fashion in a straight forward way (design school and then apprentices in the industry) never appealed to them largely because this path was distinctly urban and not in sync with the laid back lifestyle and direct connection to nature they had grown to need. Their post college year off was spent watching horror movies to the point of total boredom, which pushed them to finally pursue what they had only dreamed of.Together they embarked on the completely improbable journey of launching a fashion label out of Pasadena California. Without any technical knowledge they designed a ten piece collection under the name Rodarte (there mothers maiden name). Armed with passion, and there love of nature the two sisters turned their lack of knowledge into an advantage, instead of being fearful of the unknown each step became an opportunity for invention.
What happened next is what fashion dreams are made of. They took their collection directly to New York setting up appointment that a New York fashion student would be far too intimidated to pursue. One out of the four that agreed to meet with the then unknown talents was Women’s Wear Daily. Their fresh perceptive and new starting place was immediately recognized and with in days they ended up on the cover of the industries weekly newsletter.
Soon followed the call from Ann Wintour at Vogue and within a season the improbable outsiders were swept into the fashion system and celebrated for attacking design with a distinct new mindset. Fast forward to 2011 and the sisters have had quite an amazing career. Even with the embrace of the industry they have remained radical still questioning every step of the process while making avant-guard collections with inspiration ranging from, Star Wars, the deconstructed buildings of GordonMatta Clark, what it means to be Frankenstein, poems about blood by Silvia Plath and the bondage photo’s of Nobuyoshi Araki. The originality of their work have made them favorites of both the media as well as women everywhere, even catching the attention of director Darren Aronfskys. His love of there work won Rodarte the ultimate commission designing the breathtaking costumes for Oscar contender Black Swan.
Here Bloom showcases Rodarte’s Spring 2011 collection.Which brings the women back around to their eternal muse, the redwood trees. Re-imaging the texture color and pattern of bark transforming it into would grain blouses and veneered cocktail dresses. They have taken the rawness of the wood creating fantasy textiles that are surprisingly elegant but capture the romance of the forest. Laura explains this collection has "every shade of brown you can imagine, seventies suburbia, wood paneling, gold, off colors like chartreuse—basically, a combination of all the things that represent the area to us."
by Michael Bullock