The collaborative project Flora Metamorphicae reinterprets the traditional use of decorative ceramics and flower motives, creating incredibly beautiful installations that harmonically integrate within both nature and exhibiting spaces. The original idea for Flora Metamorphicae dates back to 2003, when a group of professional ceramists based in Bergen (Norway) were looking together at a catalogue of historical ceramic’s pieces. Inspired by their elegant and elaborate beauty, they decided to give new artistic life and an original ethos to the creation and use of ceramics. Since 2006, Flora Metamorphicae is a group of six women (Kari Aasen, Lippa Dalèn, Siri Haaskjold, Bjørg Hougen, Audhild Rypdal and Eli Veim). Each of them keeps working individually, but in this project they join forces and creative imagination in the name of a commune sense of beauty. There is just one imperative for the creation of the flowers: they must be handmade and no more than two hands big. In the years the variety of flowers – naturalistic or imaginative ones – has increased, mirroring the surprisingly incessant offer of colours and shapes of nature.These amazing installations appeal for their immediate vibrant beauty. But their meaning goes beyond being decorative and it is revealed through their ever changing aspect, when they are installed within the open environment. In the tradition of land art, they assume a deeper power in their co-existence with nature, in their response to it. When installed in water locations (like lakes, ponds but also dams) they astonishingly react to lights, reflections and the ebb and flows, offering a show that is never the same. Submerged and shining with reflections at times, blossoming out of water when the tides retire, these pieces of art harmonically enter into dialogue with the environment, blurring the separation line between nature and artifact.But the work by Flora Metamorphicae has a joyful life also in the close of gallery spaces, where it re-asserts its status as art. The flowers are thickly assembled on floors, drawing elegant patterns or simply invading the space. In this second life, they bring with them the traces (grains of sand and similar) that they inherited from their life in the open.
With their collaborative production, Flora Metamorphicae seem to bring alive the idea that individuality and collective cohesion are not opposite forces, just like natural and manufactured can enter into harmonic conversation. All images courtesy of Flora Metamorphicae.
Flora Metamorphicae website.