a project in Sweden 2017
It all started on the homepage
One winter night in 2016, on the URNATUR website, there it was: ARTIST in NATURE. Most fascinating words. Reading more, it took me less than a second to write to Ulrika. To apply for her program. To be the Urnatur Artist in Nature 2017.
Long hold images started to grow into shapes, ideas turning into plans, the creative process kicked in.
A good and fruitful exchange with Ulrika followed, slowly, naturally.
going into planning
There were many drawings going forward and backwards between us, but this one is describing the project the best: a low table, connecting to the ground in its middle part, flowers to be seen on an upraised level.
Flying out 4th of July, Tokyo-Bangkok-Stockholm.
Arriving: my God, that air!! The Swedish summer air! A relief, a refresh, so wonderful clear and crisp!
Riding the bus to Ödeshög: oh, those Swedish buses! Of course Volvo! Calmness pure.
Arriving at URNATUR: the most cute house for these 3 weeks awaiting us, Ulrika, Håkan, relaxed as always, happy hours. The summer nights are never getting dark, still bright outside at 23:00, amazing colors on the lake.
I am sure, you want to visit URNATUR right now. There you go:
Into the woods
Deciding the place: at Urnatur, there are many many amazing places and it took a day to decide, where the project wants to be. The interaction between a place and the project has to be felt by the person, who will realize the project, a wonderful and sensitive step to be done. The decision fell on a space which was guarded by high pine trees, naturally opening into an ellipse, a place where the visual focus was lead downwards. I personally let myself be guided by the natural movement of my eyes. As it was about a low table project, any place where my eyes were attracted into the height or towards other points, wasn't meant to be.
Down to the ground
As Håkan said "It's pretty much searching the space between the rocks", and he must know it, building all these huts and houses up in the forest. Me, I met the boundaries and limits right down in the ground. Quite naively, I thought, the metal rods, the ones Ulrika feared so much, would go smoothly into the ground, smooth as butter, but......no, each single of them went in, and hit a stone quite soon......
Building the base was the challenging part. Finding the right technique to weave the stems. For someone used to weave grasses, dealing with tree stems wasn't exactly the same, and I am grateful for my back that it did not snap, and for my daughter, who cut and carried together with me, hold the stems in the right position to fix them or cooked for me, while I was fighting with the base.
it's been a hard day's night
Nothing better than proceeding! After the rim was set up, we started into the powerful part of the project. Lining the whole construction with thick hemp sheets, sent up from Germany, this felt like being a gardening couturier, or couturiesse?, then filling in heaps of dirt, loads of earth, bag after bag, balancing over the moss, trying to not walk too often over the same moss. Moss does not grow back easily, it takes years for it to settle in again, that's also the reason why we had to secure the workspace with vinyl sheets.
"If you walk over moss, be sure to walk carefully to not rip it off!"
A lesson taught to us by Ulrika.
These days in the middle of the project were fulfilling, just working hard while the day and sleeping well in the nights. A good man's rhythm.
Talking about the rhythm, you might want to enjoy some pictures besides the table project. Sweden in summer is full of beautiful meadows, beautiful sheep, glittering lakes and soul food! For me as somebody loving colors, I was bathing in soothing color impressions every single day!
Finally finally filling in the plants: what a pure pleasure! We went digging out Fritillaria meleagris up in the second property, right under an apple tree, collecting mosses, all kind of mosses. Of course, carefully, not ripping off big chunks, but only here a bit, there a bit. Just the Campanula made it not easy for us: wherever I tried to dig it out, voila, millions of red ants......this meant the out for these lovely little bells. No ants on the table, at least not in the beginning! Ferns and lingonberries from the forest, Anemone japonica and Heuchera from the garden shop. But only a little bit. The table should show the beauties of the forest, right? And there are so many beauties, more than enough! In the end, I even managed to find and dig out a little runner of the Bärlapp, Lycopodium, hikagenokazuran. I know, protected by the Washington list, but is stays inside the forest, no worries
The influence of the surrounding pictures, temperatures and people can't be underestimated, they mirror into the project. As for this project, I can happily say, that I was surrounded by PEACE.
The flower designer jumps in
Although a natural table with plants flowering and growing is already beautiful enough, I wouldn't be a flower designer if I would not think about adding cut flowers to my project. With cut flowers, we add that touch of speciality, of festivity, of that "only now" feeling. Being present in the present, with the flowers surrounding you right now. You collecting them, you arranging them. With the KOMOREBI project, I am continuing a way I am walking since a while: I want to give this experience to the guest, the visitor. So, be very welcome to add YOUR flowers, YOUR "now" experience to the table! Enjoy your flowers talking to each other, enjoy inviting your friends to your table. I sincerely think that touching things turns you into the owner. With all the responsibility, of course, you will harvest the benefits of a relationship. The KOMOREBI is prepared to let you arrange cut flowers, collected grasses, flowering branches you find in the forest. Try it out!
From here, I couldn't stop myself: the amazing yellow of wild Galium, the silent green of ferns, one red accent with roses, Koyori. There are so many ways to change the impression.
With the green fern, the table turned into a silent world.
The distinctive glowing yellow of wild Galium with the pretty seeds of Fritillaria made the table look sunny.
The Japanese paper feathers Koyori and white Galium rendered the table princess-like.
one single red rose in so many greens has a strong message. At that point, I also started adding moss cushions to the table.
木洩れ日 is Japanese and literally means "the light which falls through leaves". It is the light the photographers are looking for, it is the light, which children are chasing, it is the light which turns things beautiful, creating gentle shadows and gentle highlights.
I still can remember one of our photo shootings in Japan with Kiyokazu Nakajima: he bound some twigs with leaves onto a long arm and positioned them above the work pieces to achieve the Komorebi effect!
木洩れ日 KOMOREBI now is the name of a place up in the forest in Sweden, a location, a concept, for which I wish, that it will have the energy to gather people as much as it gathers the botanical beauties of Urnatur.
People sitting around the KOMOREBI, admiring plants and flowers at the height level of their eyes, comfortable, resting, eye to eye with nature, talking to each other through plants, connected by nature, that is, what is is meant to be.
Of course, the KOMOREBI needed an inauguration. Ulrika and me invited friends and family to join us on a beautiful day, and we spent some precious hours together. Yannic and Susann from Kraut|Kopf joined us and took the most beautiful pictures:
THANK YOU ALL for coming!
Ulmer Publishing, Germany, wrote about the KOMOREBI project in their floral magazine "florieren!", 8/2017
Copyright for all photos is at Kraut|Kopf / Urnatur and/or Gabriele Kubo.
DUMONT, the German travel book publisher, decided to use a picture of the KOMOREBI botanical table for their pamphlets.
"Out of the stress, into the forest"
"Raus aus dem Stress, rein in den Wald"
says the quotation.
Interested in publishing my project?
Interested in building more tables with me?
Let me know!
Full of ideas here!