A. S. loves flowers; not just because he is a sophisticated gentleman, but also because plants are his life.
He creates beautiful gardens on rooftop terraces, back yards or by some Chinese waterfront managing species and seasons in the same way a painter would plan his color palette.
There was no surprise then, when he asked me to create a book with flowers in it.
I immediately thought of something I used to do when I was a child: flower presses in big books.
I still find dry, faded remains of my childhood between the best pages of literature Classics (Tolstoy was my favourite, even though I had never read any of his works, but also dictionaries made a pretty good job): back then, I was unconsciously building a connection between the existing context – the book and its words – the new element – the found flower – and time.
So I decided to apply the same principle to my new artwork: I replaced the organic elements with reproductions from the 18th century The Choix des Plus Belles Fleurs found on Bibliodyssey, and instead of Tolstoy I choose a book about etiquette and dancing techniques from the 1960’s, curious to find out how the two styles of illustrations would have looked like when mixed together.
The flowers were then carefully carved inside the book to create a single image that could be read from the first page, still allowing the reader to open the book and read what survived the destruction.
Here are some images of the finished book: