Has a way of wilting
At the strangest,
Most unpredictable hour.
This is how love is,
An uncontrollable beast
In the form of a flower.
The sun does not always shine on it.
Nor does the rain always pour on it
Nor should it always get beaten by a storm.
Love does not always emit the sweetest scents,
And sometimes it can sting with its thorns.
Give it plenty of sunlight.
And the flower of love will
Neglect it or keep dissecting it,
And its petals will quickly curl up and die.
This is how love is,
Perfection is a delusional vision.
So love the person who loves you
And abandon the one
Who only loves you
― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
It is a shame to be unaware of the shifts and changes that happen every day, every moment, right before your eyes. The little crinkles around her eyes that get ever-so-slightly deeper and wiser. The silver linings of her hair. The wonders of time and how they show their presence in such ways. You may think that a flower is simply a flower. A flower that looks and smells just as simply as it always has. Or that the ocean is simply salt water and blue. The flower is always moving, changing, blossoming, and giving life to the birds and the bees. The ocean’s tides rise and fall with the phases of the moon. The currents change direction. And depending on how the sun hits the water, the colors and shades of blue are in fact, infinite. Everything around you and everyone is always changing. Take time to smell the roses. Take time to watch the tide. Take time to see your love with new eyes. It would be a shame to miss it.
A flower with no smell to it is just something to look at. However, a flower that emits a beautiful fragrance is the one we want in our homes and on our walls. Your mission as an artist, is to become the best-smelling flower in the world, so that when the day finally comes when you are plucked from the ground, the world will cry for the loss of your mind-stimulating fragrance. Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in garden loaded with thousands of the same flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple.
―Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Jenny Pickford is a blacksmith who specializes in natural sculpture, including flowers. She forges her creations from galvanized steel and crowns them with blown or spun glass made by glass artists from Bromsgrove, UK. This is truly beautiful and unique artwork, as you can see in these images from the Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show of 2012, taken by Karen Roe and published by her under this Creative Commons License.
The dynamic Aganpanthus sculpture towers above the crowd at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, surrounded by smaller Arum Lillies
Another view of Agapanthus, which measures 4 meters tall (a little over 13 feet)
Prickly Pod Water Feature
More works by Jenny Pickford
From her largest works, such as the Aganpanthus and Dandelion sculptures, to her small Arum Lillies, Pickford reproduces her delightful designs for purchase. Her website is full of astonishing pieces, from sculptures to water features and more.
People around the globe draw inspiration from nature to decorate their homes and workplaces. What lies beneath this creative impulse?
Flower petal Rangoli, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Public Domain Image
Rangoli is an esteemed folk art which is known by many names across the Indian subcontinent where it originated, including Kolam, Muggu, Mandana, Alpana and Chowkpurna. Families make patterns from materials such as rice flour, sand, chalk or flower petals to adorn floors at doorsteps and in courtyards and living rooms. In their original context, Rangoli were made by women as sacred welcome mats for Hindu deities and were generally geometric and floral, although they might feature depictions of gods and goddesses. The beauty and creativity of their design has expanded to include other forms and even faith traditions. In some regions of India a home without a Rangoli is considered a very sad and unloved place.
Some of these designs have been passed down for centuries, representing the unique signature of a particular family, while others are flights of fancy. As in all forms of art, there is value in both tradition and improvisation.
Kolam is a traditional form which originated in the southernmost Indian state of Tamil Nadu, usually consisting of repeating symmetrical patterns laid out over a grid of dots. Every day, millions of Indian women rise early to make Kolam before dawn. These creations are then ready to be walked on, rained on or blown by the wind as the day progresses, a symbol of the impermanent beauty of life.
In addition to decorative and sacred use, Kolam have also been used to draw ants out of the home and to draw birds and small animals to the doorstep to feed. As much as human beings seek to protect themselves from nature, we always seem to desire a relationship with it. Closed geometric forms have been favored because they are believed to prevent evil spirits from entering the home.
In areas where they are not made every day, Rangoli are made during Hindu festivals, such as Diwali, Onam, and Pongal, as a welcoming gesture and a talisman for good luck. Marriages and community gatherings also frequently feature intricate and rich patterns.
As with all decoration, there is no doubt that Rangoli is a means to show wealth and prosperity. We may be impressed by costly materials in huge, elaborate designs, but the simplest drawing can sometimes be the most powerful to the eye and the heart.
Rangoli celebrate natural forms as matrices that draw inspiration. The wonder of the world around us creates space for human creativity and happiness. The more sterile and bland things around us become, the less we experience them. What does your creativity and art invite into your life?
One of the most poignant elements of Rangoli is community involvement. Families and friends come together to make them, laboring together to create beauty for themselves, as well as for neighbors and visitors. This is also our mission here at synkroniciti. We hope that you feel inspired to make something new today.
“Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”
Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, without even realizing what he’d doing – that isn’t important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself “My flower’s up there somewhere…” But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?