Greetings and welcome to the first blog of 2014 and straight from our new studio & depot. Belated Happy New Year!
There is a lot on the horizon for 2014. After that initial downer last week of seeing dismembered Christmas trees stuffed in to wheely bins and petrified on roadsides, we were cheered by Linton's Zoo appeal for those unwanted trees for their lions and tigers to play with. If you live locally to the Zoo (Cambridge) and still have a straggler kicking around trees can be dropped off at the front gates of the zoo. Sweet!
Our own resident lion chowing down on Pussy Willow... naughty
This month we are feeling the pull of all things wild so are bringing you a blog connecting with nature and those wild ones (including humans). See what is finding its way on to our mood boards, influencing us and making us smile so far this year. It should be pretty obvious by now that we collectively love nature and animals so this post celebrates those souls and creatures that have either surprised or moved us of late. Think of this blog as our cabinet of curiosities... with a nod to those things that you won't find unless you really look.
Shall we begin then?
let's take a walk on the wildside...
Actress Tippi Hedren, best-known for her role in Hitchcock’s The Birds, and as the mother of actress Melanie Griffith, once shared her home with lions in California, photographed here by LIFE magazine during the early 1970s. (Griffiths pictured in the pool and in bed with a lion below!)
In 1969, Tippi was filming a movie in Africa and visited an abandoned house in Mozambique occupied by 30 lions and their cubs. The time she spent there with the lions changed Hedren’s life forever and inspired her and her husband to make a movie about what they had seen.
So what did they do? They started their own pride of 50 homegrown lions, acquiring them one by one. Well of course they did...
As preparations for the film progressed, neighbors began to complain about the family’s ‘pets’ and 'the' authorities cracked down. The family packed up their things (including cats) and moved to the remote Soledad Canyon to live on the reserve with their lions, where they continued the on-and-off filming of Roar. For a project that cost over $17.5 million, the film only grossed about $2million in the end.
Tippi shocked a lot of people when she admitted that she absolutely made sure the cats slept with her and her children, believing that nothing was more important than day-and-night communication. Uh... that's no kitten Tippi...
During production of Roar Melanie Griffiths, 19 years old at the time, was attacked by a lioness and needed 50 stitches to her face and then the director of photography was scalped. Thankfully Tippi has changed her views on living with lions but has not deterred from being their ambassador. In 1983, she founded the Shambala Preserve, a fully functioning animal sanctuary to protect exotic animals who have suffered from gross mistreatment and neglect.
is there anyone home?
One man's trash is another man's treasure. So true! The little brown bottle booth in our studio, collated from much digging in and around the Cotswolds.
- HOME time -
Nestle in, January can be bleak but this is all looking quite cosy...
Nice log stacking
A stack of firewood House by Piet Hein Eek for Hans Liberg
The natural earthy look. Bringing outside in with style.
For inside out and outside in what better than from the porch. Ultra modern or a little more countryfied....
Beaming! Sheer design mastery, House by architect Ray Kappe, photographed by Joao Canziani
The ultimate inside out feel, Jodlowa House by PCKO Architects, Poland
Now that looks like the place to be. Or if you really want to retreat this Winter...
Try a stay in The Igloo Village, Hotel Kakslauttanen, Lapland... no less.
- BIG EYES -
Mesmerizing creatures in their landscapes.
- timeless TEXTURE -
At our new digs we have been planting many trees, including our signature Paper Birches. We plant them for our clients because we believe that they are the stars of gardens and landscapes in Winter. Also gorgeous for those textural bark shavings and peelings for Winter displays indoors. Or great for starting fires if you are caught out in the wild... according to Ray Mears!
Textural imagery by Tim Booth
On the wild and weird side - the image above is from the anthropomorphic photographic series by Portland based Etsy shop, Grand Ole Bestiary. What are your reactions to these?... mainly we find them a bit creepy but yet, somehow they have compelled us to look at them again and again! With the interiors trend toward 'display', faux taxidermy, apothecary and cabinets of curiosities these Victorianesque anthropomorphic portraits are gaining in popularity. So let's then introduce you to the Squirrelton Twins...
- FOUND -
And getting even weirder... The famous ballet dancer Anna Pavlova (pictured at her home in London, Ivy House) who created The Dying Swan role that later influenced Swan Lake, cohabitated happily and lovingly with swans... now that is truly terrifying!
How do you do?
Another 'how do they make you feel?' question when we present this series to you. Created by Madris based industrial photographer Miguel Vallinas, the 'Second Skins' series definitely evokes a reaction. We have been toying with these for a while... what we like is that they do command the 'Marmite question'.
Love them or loathe them we admire this anthropomorphic photographic series because Vallinas is experimenting with the notion that we project our preconceptions onto people based on their appearance. He in turn confesses that he uses his preconceptions of personality to imagine a personality for each animal, that is then expressed through their outfit. This second part of a Vallinas series is all about stereotyping, (the first featured several portraits of people in their work clothes) aiming to investigate the internal aspects of human preconception.
- MISCONCEPTION -
The normally flamboyant flamingo practices some restraint here in pared down attire. Last in this corner of curiosities is the most shocking yet from the Grand Ole Bestiary...
display : gathered Birch twigs @ our floral engineering area
- land ART & LIGHT -
Land Artists and couple Christo & Jeanne Claude create vast land pieces. Pictured here is The Running Fence in Sonoma & Marin Counties, California, live from 1972 – 1976.
When asked how they define themselves and work this was their response:
J:Labels are important mostly for bottles of wine—but if you need a label, environmental artist is OK. We work in urban and rural environments. Still, the media continues to call us wrapping artists.
C:We borrow space and create gentle disturbances for a while. We inherit everything that is inherent in the space to become part of the work of art. All our projects are like fabulous expeditions. The story of each project is unique. Our projects have no precedent.
J: the hardest part of each project is to obtain the permits. Afterward, it's pleasure.
Over the River, project for Arkansas River, state of Colardo is currently postponed. More on these mavericks in our upcoming Land Art Blog.
Chairs by Doris Salcedo, Istanbul. 1,150 chairs : Urban Land Art installation. Respect!
Land Art Mid Pennines. Fairhaven Bubbles by Steve Messam, photographed by Lee Pilkington. Masterful!
Climbing Wall for Illoiha Omotesando fitness club in Tokyo by Nendo. Genius!
Forgotten Songs Urban Land Art installation by Michael Thomas Hill. Brilliance!
- LET THERE BE LIGHT -
Lake Chandelier Akerselva Elvelangs Festival
Street Chandelier Urban Land Art installation by Werner Reiterer
Ball of Light by Denis Smith / more on him coming up in our Land Art Blog : both Town & Country
Mirror House by Autumn De Wilde for Cadillac 2015 Escalade reveal
upside down mushroom ROOM by Carsten Holler, Tate Modern
Porcelain Fungi by Danny Beath
-AT HOME WITH NATURE -
Sometimes style is effortless. This is all scavenged finds from our nursery - a fallen Birch branch, Hellebores and a specimen fern leaf displayed here. We can't encourage you enough to bring some outside in. Nature gives us gifts all year round. We will keep showing you our take on what, when & how throughout 2014. And then it's yours for the picking.
- TEAM EFFORT -
- ANIMAL MAGIC -
Tippi Degré is a real girl. The animals you see in these photos with her were not in any way tamed or trained by humans. Nothing is 'photoshopped'. Born in 1990 to French wild life photographer parents, Alain Degré and Sylvie Robert, Tippi had the kind of childhood that we only hear about in legends. She was named after the actress Tippi Hedren.
This Ostrich, nicknamed Linda, was apparently so afraid of hurting the small child that Tippi’s parents could rarely capture a photo of them riding together.
One of her closest friends was Abu, the 28 year old African elephant pictured earlier. Tippi’s mother remembers, ”She had no fear. She did not realise she was not the same size as Abu."
Growing up in Africa, Tippi was living amongst the native tribespeople of Namibia. It was these tribesmen who took Tippi under their wing and taught her how to survive in the wild.
Tippi is now 23 years old and it appears in her adulthood, Tippi has shied away from a life as a potential celebrity. Very little news of her life today is available. What a pure and inspirational soul... we feel compelled to name the next resident animal after her. We'll let you know.
It’s astounding to us to learn that 22-year-old Hungarian photographer Noell S Oszvald only picked up a camera a year ago. So far she has shared about 20 of her images. (The Elephant & Zebra in the City earlier in this post are one of these). Oszvald says : “I don’t want to tell people what to see in my images. This is the reason why I never really write any descriptions other than titles. It shows what I wish to express but everyone is free to figure out what the picture says to them. It’s very interesting to read so many different thoughts about the same piece of work. "
Pictured above is Prejudice
What came first? sculpture by Brighton based artist Kyle Bean. We featured his hotel receipts Lion sculpture on the 'Blown away' Blog last year.
Now that's it from us. Loads more Land & Garden Art & Sculpture coming up in the next few weeks. We have some cracking stuff to share.
Dog bespoke sculpture in our studio by artist Dominic Gubb for HC Gardens
The Where the Wild things are Source Book : pinterest.com, nationalgeographic.com, dailymail.co.uk, cutestpaw.com, riittaikonen.com, nhm.ac.uk, philippehalsman.com, designyoutrust.com, hendycurzon.co.uk, fashiongonerogue.com, christojeanneclaude.net, mymodernmet.com, denissmith.com.au, tumblr.com, nendo.jp, kylebean.co.uk, museumofhoaxes.com, indulgy.com, joaocanziani.com,thecoolest.com, houzz.com, homedsgn.com, sfgirlbybay.com, miguelvallinas.com, emptykingdom.com, gorongosa.org.