LAB WORK - THE FLOWER LABORATORY | WHERE THE PHYSICAL AND METAPHYSICAL COLLIDE.
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THE FLOWER LABORATORY

THE FLOWER LABORATORY is a unique practice. We specialise in creating and building botanical worlds which transport us into another time and space. We challenge the preconceived use of plants and flowers, harnessing their power to communicate and explore ideas about connection, both through the physical and metaphysical world.


WE BELIEVE that nature reflects the human psyche in all its forms. Throughout our lives we are consciously and subconsciously altering, measuring, assessing and adjusting our own internal balance.


THROUGH COLLBORATIONS with photographers, artists, musicians, poets, writers and film makers, the path of The Flower Laboratory has many branches aiming to encourage creativity, discovery and experimentation to help feel connected.


We are rooted to the belief that by learning our own unique alchemy, we journey together.

PROJECTS

INTERNAL ALCHEMY SERIES

SHOT BY PAUL ZAK
2017
Plate 1 Prescription (Brain medication, Flower)
Plate 1
Prescription
(Brain medication, Flower)

Internal Alchemy is an exploration of the self.
The series looks at the energetic power of nature and its connection with the human soul. We explore the everyday decisions we make that affect our internal balance.


Deeply personal and unique to each individual, the viewer is invited to pause and examine their own internal alchemy. As with nature, our own life cycle and the passing of each day is a reminder that life in finite.


This series looks at the control we have, our daily thoughts and actions and asks what choices do we make that keep us balanced and connected whilst posing the ultimate challenging question –

 

Do we want to be present?

Plate 2 Prescription (Eyedrops for Glacoma, Flower)
Plate 2
Prescription
(Eyedrops for Glacoma, Flower)
Plate 3 (NHS Multi-Dose Blister Pack, Seeds and Soil)
Plate 3
(NHS Multi-dose Blister Pack, Seeds and Soil)
Plate 4
(NHS Weekly Blister Pack, Soil)
Plate 5
(Prescription, Pills)
Plate 6
(NHS Weekly Blister Pack, Pills)

001 THE ZINE

COLLABORATION
WITH PAUL ZAK

 

Plate 1 (Zine, Scrap Paper)
Plate 1
(Zine, Scrap Paper)
A limited edition publication housing our Italian Vogue shoot. Shot in Paris we transformed a barren winter garden into a bloom filled summer evening.

The juxtapositon of housing such a prestigious shoot within sheets of scrap paper of seemingly little value, allows us to question the placement of value and beauty.

This book can be treasured or discarded.

The Flower Laboratory believes the placement of value comes from within and it’s the choice of the individual to determine what is beautiful to them, posing the bigger question –

 

Where do you place value?

Plate 2 (Zines, Scrap Paper)
Plate 2
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Cover
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Page 1
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Page 2
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Page 3
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Page 4
(Zines, Scrap Paper)
Page 5
(Zines, Scrap Paper)

002 THE SEED PROJECT

Plate 1 (Newspaper and poster)
Plate 1
(Newspaper and Poster)

ON THE 6TH OF APRIL, THE FLOWER LABORATORY PLACED SEEDS  ACROSS LONDON TO CELEBRATE THE CHANGE OF SEASON.

We hoped people would find them, pick them up and plant them. With no obligation or expectation they were simply a gift. With a touch of poetry and laboratory precision, we chose wildflowers that are simple to grow, blue- to chase the winter blues away, and free – because the best things in life are…

Fully aware of the unknowable outcome, there was one result of  which The Flower Laboratory was certain. The seed would travel.

The journey would happen, to a garden, a pot, into the hand of a loved one or perhaps just discarded as rubbish. The decision was in the hand of the beholder and The Flower Laboratory is rooted to the belief that whatever the outcome, we journey together.

Plate 2 (Seed Packet)
Plate 2
(Seed Packet)
caption
Dodge
Location: Trafalgar Square
Glasgow Man
Location : Glasgow Garden
The Doctor’s Surgery
Location : Finchley road
The Launderette
Location : Goldhawk road
The Skaters
Location : South Bank
J. G Bryson Printers
Location : Finchley road
Plate 3 (Newspaper and Poster)
Plate 3
(Newspaper and Poster)
Plate 4 (Newspaper and Poster)
Plate 4
(Newspaper and Poster)

THE FLOWER LABORATORY believes in the power of nature, and the power people. We believe that plants and flowers reflect the human psyche in all its forms. From seed to death they have a lifecycle of growth and decay echoing our own lifespan. Understanding that life is finite, our practice is to mirror emotional energies through our creations with the hope that collectively as well as individually there is unity in our struggles as well as our jubilations.

OUR METHODS are as experimental as they are measured. We are committed to the unique alchemy behind the transmutation of gaining value where none was once considered.

THE FLOWER LABORATORY believes in connecting to a frequency where nature’s rhythms can be heard, vibrations can be felt and what was once a whisper becomes a steady pulse.

003 THE FOX

THE LABORATORY
2017
The Fox
Date: May 2017
Location: Abbey Arts Studio

The Laboratory is nestled within a small artist community in North London. The Abbeys history and the artistic souls past and present envelope us, alluding to a deep presence which influences and inspires our work.

We are immersed in nature, bearing witness to the seasons, weather and wide variety of animals, birds, insects and flowers that we feel  privileged to observe. Their energy surrounds us, encouraging creativity to flow and peaceful observations to be discovered.

Be it the honey bees buzzing, the sly fox meandering , the white doves flying over our studio or the smell of the wood burning stove crackling as we work , our studio is a constant source of inspiration.

Home to friends, family and collaborators , this ever changing landscape is the foundations of The Flower Laboratory.

DISSECTION SERIES

SHOT BY PAUL ZAK
2017
Plate 1 (Dissection, Flower)
Plate 1
(Dissection, Flower)
Plate 2 (Dissection, Flower)
Plate 2
(Dissection, Flower)
Plate 3 (Dissection, Flower)
Plate 3
(Dissection, Flower)
 
Plate 4 (Dissection, Flower)
Plate 4
(Dissection, Flower)
Plate 5 (Dissection, Flower)
Plate 5
(Dissection, Flower)

Paul Zak

Photographer Paul Zak is renowned for his exquisite still life imagery. His work depicts the intimacy between an object and it’s environment, in a powerful graphic style.

005
GRAHAM COXEN
MUSIC VIDEO

C.A.L.M. CHARITY
2017

Graham Coxen
Date: December 2017
Location: Meadows, Crouch End

In support of the award winning charity C.A.L.M (Campaign Against Living Miserably) which is dedicated to the prevention of suicide particularly in males, it was the hope of Graham Coxen and indeed all involved in the project to raise awareness of the issue and open up the discussion on the subject as well support family and friends who are directly affected.

The single was written by Luke Daniel, a talented singer songwriter and dedicated father, who sadly ended his life last year.

006 BEYOND TIME
AND SPACE

COLLABORATION WITH
FILM DIRECTOR
MIKE FIGGIS

Film Director Mike Figgis shot our ‘Beyond Space and Time’ story for the bi-annual magazine The Impression. Beyond Space and Time is a photographic project about connection and disconnection with the soul. A meditative collaboration, the images explore the character’s emotions which are mirrored in nature. The narrative contemplates timelines cementing feelings of growth, rebirth, history and connections.

The cover shoot spans 22 double pages, and is published in the Spring 2018 issue.

Mike Figgis

His direction inspires deeply connective performances, using improvisation and innovative film techniques (Timecode), resulting in emotive imagery that instantly connects with the audience. Mikes seminal work Leaving Las Vegas was recognised by the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and BAFTA, where he received Best Director and Best Screenplay nominations.

 

Special thanks to
Set Design / Gillian O’Brien
Art Direction / Bennett Bowerman / Josie Rossouw
Creative Assistant & Layout Designer / Tara Li-An
Model /Anouck Lepere
Model /Jan De Villeneuve
Model / Dulcie Atkinson
Production / Shiny Production
Camera Assistant / Ali Tollervey
Video / Arlen Figgis
Hair / Michael Boadi
Make Up / Bernadine Bibiano
Manicure / Yasmine Elwakil

MIKE FIGGIS

BEYOND SPACE AMD TIME
2018

Mike Figgis
Date: Spring 2018
Location: North London

Watch our short film that accompanies the “Beyond Space and Time” series.
A hypnotic piece by seminal Filmaker Mike Figgis and accompanied by original soundtrack written and composed by Arlen Figgis.
This short film witnesses our characters engage with each other and nature within a subliminal dream like reality.

007
PROJECT HANAMI

In Spring 2018, The Flower Laboratory created Project Hanami as a way of connecting to nature, to ourselves and to each other.

As the season changed and Spring finally arrived we CELEBRATED, COLLABORATED, CREATED, DISCOVERED AND SHARED THE LOVE of the Japanese tradition of HANAMI which translates to Flower Viewing with our fellow creatives.

Inspired by this ancient tradition of gathering together under the cherry blossom trees known as Sakura which is about the temporal beauty of nature, the time we spend with each other and the acceptance of the gentle sadness that life is both fragile and transient. The beauty of nature is one of our few constants in life and one which we all share.

The Flower Laboratory invited followers, friends, collegues and anyone we came across to join us on a journey – of the collective  appreciation of blossom trees!

Project Hanami was open to all, young and old – to share with us THEIR blossom tree, the one they see every Spring or the one they had just walked by, perhaps their blossom tree lives at the end of their street, or it’s the one they see on the way to work, school or college, whatever their daily tasks were, we asked them to be on the lookout …

Contributors stated their location co-ordinates so we could share online and the love of blossom began to spread… As the stories, locations and photographs flooded in, we were overwhelmed by the response. It was amazing to see how loved so many trees are.. By sharing the love of blossom, this collective connection to nature helps unify us.

We enjoyed sharing our favourite trees on stories and posts via social media and would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who sent us their beloved blossom trees.

008
CLAPTON BLOSSOM
COLLABORATION WITH
PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER
ENDA BOWE

Understanding the daily challenges we all face in life, the beauty of nature is one of our few constants. The cherry blossom tree faithfully blossoms every year giving us candy floss backdrops and confetti that rains down when it is time to say goodbye.
It lives between tower blocks and corner shops, in bus terminals and among terrace houses up and down the country and beyond.

The Flower Laboratory were thrilled to collaborate with art photographer Enda Bowe whose work searches for the light and beauty in the ordinary, and captures moments that tell a story. His work offers a view into seeing objects, situations and people from a slightly different perspective often breaking down stereo-types and seeing the humanity in the world around us.

Believing in the power of that connection we continued to explore what it means to live alongside a blossom tree, a tree that is magnificent for such a short time but whose beauty is palpable. As we searched the city looking for a blossom that is housed within a community, this particular tree shone out.

Situated in the heart of the housing estate in Clapton, East London, this incredible blossom tree towers high above the homes of its residents, with its branches spreading so close the pink petals almost touch the windows of its companions

We spent many days on the estate and it soon became clear that the tree at the heart of the estate was a unifying bond , a meeting point and a marker of time… That the lives of the community was enriched by housing such a magnificent tree and the tree in turn no doubt enjoyed the hustle and bustle of estate life, the generational mix and the energetic love that was so clear as the pink radiated down on everyone that walked past.

We all have a relationship with nature, for some it’s very prominent and for others it’s a quiet reassurance that sometimes goes unnoticed. As kids, trees are our playmates, we climb each branch to get as high as we can and look in awe as they grow high up into the sky. As we grow older, trees become woven into the fabric of our lives and we often use our silent companions as indicators for the changes in seasons.
The project was about the importance of connection and the intimate symbiosis that happens when nature is near.
The reciprocal energy that flows between your spirit and nature, having the faith and hope to trust in it , even in troubled times.

We are never truly alone.

ENDA BOWE
Enda is a committed artist who approaches both commissioned and personal
projects with the same passion, dedication and attention to detail.
His work is concerned with the storytelling and the search for light and beauty in the ordinary.
Endas work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including the Victoria & Albert Museum , London, Red Hook Gallery, New York, the Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, the National Portrait Gallery, London, Fotohof, Salzburg, Fotomuseum, Winterthur, The Gallery of Photography, Dublin and The Visual Centre Of Contemporary Art, Ireland.

 

The series was published in Rakes Progress Magazine in Issue 10 2019.
Cybil and Daughter Lulu from the Clapton Blossom series received 2nd Prize at the Taylor Wessing Competition held by The National Portrait Gallery, London.

009
GROW ME, GROW YOU
COLLABORATION WITH LITTLE ROCK PEOPLE

In July 2018, we had the privilege to be invited to collaborate with the incredible Little Rock People as part of their Children’s short film festival in Valetta , Malta.
Hosted in the Garden of Rest Cemetery, The Flower Laboratory and the Little Rock People held a planting extravaganza. The aim of the workshop was to feel inspired, to be hopeful , to care and to nurture…in nature. This came in the form of planting a seed, giving it some water, botanising our seedling and most importantly giving it a home.

As twilight set in and the moon grew bright above us all, a golden light bathed the garden as we swapped stories, talked gardens and planted our seeds before settling down together under the stars to watch a specially curated programme of films.

Photo Credit: Ali Tollervey

Little Rock People
LRP is part of the Kinemastik collective, a cultural NGO based in Malta which believes in the power of film to involve , incite, inspire and encourage, linking local filmmakers to the world of cinema. They provide a platform for their work through local screenings as well as through worldwide distribution of locally produced works.
Little Rock People is now in its 11th year and has produced some of the youngest film makers. In 2019, Vivian India Fabbro aged 4, introduced her debut film ‘Everyone on the stage and Sofia” to rousing applause and in true LRP spirit, the quiz, the voting and the after party was filled with energy and joy.
With an inspired programme that champions films from around the globe, the line up has included shorts about the beauty of the natural world, amazing examples from undiscovered animators, subtitled movies and even a documentary
about a 12 year old with the largest vacuum cleaner collection in the world.
www.littlerockpeople.com
www.kinemastik.org

CONTACT:

 

[email protected]

@theflowerlaboratory

 

NO IMAGES OR CONTENT MAY BE USED OR REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION. TERMS AND CONDITIONS. COPYRIGHT © 2016 THE FLOWER LABORATORY, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.