The art of flowers – Interview with @boldoxlip
HW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
B: I wanted to be a fashion designer. I did fashion drawings all through the school summer holidays. I ended up going down the academic route though, studying Italian and Spanish and have wended my way back to creative work somehow.
HW: How do you explain your art?
B: I find it hard identifying my work as ‘art’. Working with flowers is so often seen as ‘design’ instead. Ultimately I’m trying to encapsulate something of the British garden and seasons through the medium of flowers and photography.
HW: Who introduced you to the art of flowers?
B: My father, a gardener, who has a beautiful English-style garden with herbaceous borders. My mother, a painter, who has had free-reign in his garden to cut and arrange flowers in our family home all my life.
HW: Talk to us a little bit about how you got started…
B: An amazing florist called Emma who runs Palais Flowers took a chance on me when I was inexperienced and very ‘green’, so to speak. I’ll always be really grateful to her for that. I worked part time with her for a little while and then started to freelance with other London florists too. I started to create my own work and photograph it obsessively and then it all started to roll out from there…
HW: Which musicians/ photographers/ painters/ artists are you a fan of?
B: I find the work of some 19th/20th century botanical photographers are incredibly inspiring, such as Karl Blossfeldt, Leendert Blok.
HW: What are you obsessed with right now?
B: Milanese villas with their oh-so-natural mixture of grand features and modernist furniture and fittings, à la Villa Necchi Campiglio.
HW: How would you describe your lifestyle?
B: Quite varied in pace. Working with flowers has to be quite intense as they’re a living thing and have a short shelf life. 2.30am wake ups to get to the flower market and long, sometimes 16+ hour days in the run up to an event, mean that you have to left yourself off the hook on other days and lie in until 10am when you can. The gardening and growing work in the cutting garden never stops though, so I could end up working all the time if I wasn’t careful.
HW: What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
B: ‘Don’t make a decision until you’ve made a decision’. Not perhaps the best mantra for a perfectionist like me but I rarely have regrets.
HW: Where do you get your inspiration from?
B: The flowers themselves.
HW: What do you think your biggest personal or professional success has been so far?
B: Being included in Phaidon’s book ‘Blooms’ which showcases the work of around 80 contemporary floral designers around the world who are trying to push the boundaries of ‘floristry’.
HW: What’s the dream?
B: A large cutting garden. Growing all my own flowers. And lots of time to photograph the flowers.
HW: What is your biggest fear?
B: Not meeting other people’s expectations. However, perhaps not meeting my own expectations is even more scary. Although I am trying to be less hard on myself.
HW: What is fragility for you?
B: Reaching out to let others know you need help. This could perhaps even be the client or customer.
HW: What do you think of the link between psychology and art?
B: I have never thought about it to be honest. Perhaps that says it all?