'Vas Florum' is a new exhibition of flower vases by Marcin Rusak, on show at Paris' Carpenters Workshop Gallery until 20 December 2023. The Polish designer's first solo show in the city, the display features some of the recurring themes of his career, namely the use of flora as a design material, inspired by Rusak's family business as flower growers.
'Vas Florum': new flower vases by Marcin Rusak
Presented through a display that evokes a museum showcase, the new pieces offer a glimpse into Rusak's design approach, which mixes childhood memories, our relationship with nature and ongoing concerns over environmental and societal changes.
Flowers have been part of Rusak's work ever since his graduation display at London's Royal College of Art and subsequent design explorations as part of his winning the Perrier-Jouët Arts Salon prize in 2015. 'I am the grandson and son of Warsaw flower growers. My family has been producing flowers for over a hundred years, but this family history ended when I was born,' he recalls. 'Working with flowers was initially a way for me to transcribe this ghostly past of abandoned greenhouses, rusted metal and broken glass, zinc planters, pumps and other machines with unknown functions, all abandoned and frozen in the landscape.'
Although his career spanned different media including metal, flowers are a theme and material he keeps going back to, creating small objects as well as flora-infused furniture designs. 'My work lies at the intersection between value, ephemerality, and aesthetics,' he explains.
'Once flowers have fulfilled our decorative or symbolic needs, they become a reminder of life that we no longer want and are thrown away. Transformed into my materials, they regain meaning and become an integral part of a work that magnifies the very reason they are thrown away in the first place: their very temporary nature. My creations have their own lifespan, which I have observed and amplified over the years.'
The new collection on view in Paris is the latest result from Rusak's ongoing experiments with flower-infused bio-resin, a method that took several years to develop. The whole process is done by hand, from collecting and processing the flowers to finishing the material.
'For Vas Florum, I’ve adapted the process by taking inspiration from the material qualities of ancient Egyptian glass: the sanded finish of the sculpture takes on an enigmatic, misty appearance that blurs the flowers captured inside, emphasising their ephemeral qualities,' he says. 'In the resulting sculptures, there is much more focus on the individual message conveyed through the considered selection of plants. With this, the pieces offer a polyphony of narratives that can be read individually or collectively, offering a glimpse to my everyday musings.'
'Vas Florum' is on view until 20 December 2023
Carpenters Workshop Gallery
54 Rue De La Verrerie
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Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.
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