F L O W E R S T A T I O N
Ant Hamlyn x Browns Fashion
Interview with Browns Fashion https://www.brownsfashion.com/uk/story/ant-hamlyn-artist-interview
What inspired F L O W E R S T A T I O N? What is the meaning behind the installation?
I've worked with inflatables and soft sculpture for a number of years, and I've always been interested in the qualities of the material in relation to humans. Flowers have always fascinated me in this way also, in that we live beside them all the time. They are living just as we are, with many of them opening their heads in the morning and closing them in the evening.
F L O W E R S T A T I O N is an extension of my ongoing ‘FLOWERPRESS’ wall sculptures series. The idea behind it is to deconstruct the pastime of flower pressing and represent it as three dimensional sculptural objects. The works are at once a celebration and a critique, [reflecting] the idea of wanting to preserve beauty, whilst simultaneously damaging it. When we press flowers, we are trying to preserve their fleeting beauty forever.
How did you craft the flowers?
Each flower is hand made. I start by laying out the fabric then I hand draw the patterns, cut them out and machine stitch the initial elements. Then when I have the individual elements, I stuff them and hand stitch them all together. It was really important that all visible sides have their own composition, almost like five different works in each box.
The fundamental concern was to imagine what a bouquet of spring flowers would be like inflated and stuffed tightly inside a clear box. Some of the flowers would become slightly abstract, some would overlap and some would press right up against the sides. I want the pieces to look natural in their composition, although each crease is meticulously planned.
Why does this installation feel relevant now?
I wanted to create a work that offers intimacy and distance simultaneously, catching a moment in time and freezing it. This idea of desperately trying to preserve and celebrate a moment in time is really interesting in the current climate. Personally, I’ve never been so aware of mortality, and with this artwork, one could either look at life with a sense of impending negativity, or as a fleeting moment to savour.
What do you want people to experience when looking at your work?
The work is both hard and soft, intimate and distant, happy and sad - all at the same time. For me it’s about creating this cocktail of contradicting experiences, because that’s how we experience life.