ARTIFICIAL FLOWERS

hella-vaseHella Jongerius, one of my favourite designers and a Dutch compatriot of Nooteboom (previous entry), just unveiled her latest works at the Galerie Kreo this afternoon. Entitled natura design magistra, her collection of artificial blooms is particularly arresting. A handmade series of cut flowers in a variety of materials–glass, leather, paper, wood, tape–are placed in ceramic and glass vases. Elegant, almost scientific, emotional and humorous (note the thorn “accessory” on this one), the vases are a perfect example of why Jongerius’ work is so relevant today: she succeeds in unifying the artisanal and the industrial, the narrative and the technical like no other designer.

“Who’d want to ruin a perfectly good vase by putting flowers in it?” Hella famously stated in a conversation with Louise Schouwenberg. In order to avoid this distasteful eventuality, she has effectively turned the vase into a full-scale installation. One of the most conceptual designers today, she is sometimes referred to as an artist, yet fiercely defends her status as a designer, a maker of useful objects. Of course, one can argue that these vases cannot be used in a traditional way. So why did she design them? Again in conversation with Louise, Hella explained “Vases were originally meant to be used, of course, but like any useful object a vase has a potential that goes beyond functionality. The story can rise above the object itself.” A serial storyteller, Hella is thus inventing new forms of function–and, I believe, of nature itself. Here is her gallery garden, below:

hella-installationEarthly delights,

Lisa

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~ by lisacwhite on April 4, 2009.

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