Photo credits Lauren Maccabee
Lauren, her mum and sister arrived at my studio with an abundance of beautiful stems, which had been hand picked from their garden. They had sadly been used for their dad's Funeral. Sian from the Flower Lounge in Didsbury had been over to collect flowers from the garden to arrange.
They had left me spoilt for choice with printed ferns, cosmos, verbena, , fennel, astrantia, dried allium heads from earlier in the seaon and a whole variety of leafy foliage. I popped them into a watering while we discussed what they would like me to create.
I slowly began to learn and hear snippets of their ordeal which they had experienced as a family for some months over lockdown. The heart break of losing a loved one during this awful time of COVID 19. In which could have been avoided if treatment was more readily available. Paul was diagnosed with cancer in March.
Paul originally trained as a Landscape Architect where he studied with his wife Helen. Together they had a real love for gardens and plants. Helen and Paul created a space of their own , which became a lifelong project which manifested into a beautiful haven.
I always feel little under pressure to create something special for people and this was no exception. The smell of the stems transported me into a space I could only imagine. Lauren sent me some beautiful images of the garden and her dad sat comfortably reading the newspaper. The garden was obviously a sanctuary for Paul and a place where the family will remember him in times to come. As spring arrives and the shoots push through, it will once again be the space which is full of delights and fond memories of their father and husband Paul.
I love to create pieces that have a narrative and there is no more poignant than the journey of people. I select flower combinations that sit comfortably and naturally together in compositions. I made a selection of pieces for Lauren, her mum and sister to choose from. They wanted a subtleness in colour so we went for a dark, but delicate grey, which alongside the texture of the clay, shows the beautiful details of the flowers. The pieces i created were varying in size and shape, some stand alone as individual prints and others entwined as they would be during the summer months. They have an ethereal and airy appearance with space to breathe.
I hope that they do the flowers justice and that Paul as an avid gardener would approve that his beautifully grown and cared for flowers are now preserved in ceramics.
A subtle, but beautiful reminder......
It was an absolute pleasure to create using the natured stems of what can only be described as an amazing man. You can read further about Lauren's story through her blog post which was originally a log of recovery following her fathers treatment.