I would like to dedicate this post to Liane Rossler.
I have never really thought about what inspired me to make this series until now that I have to write about it. The reason why I enjoy writing is that words help to explore my thinking. So now, I have to admit that I was perhaps unconsciously influenced by Liane (blushed).
Liane is an artist, designer, curator and design advisor. She was also co-founder, former designer and director of Dinosaur Designs. Many people in the design industry know Liane. Anyway the reason why I talk about this is that even when I was somehow ‘connected’ with Liane, I didn’t know what she looked like, what she did, nor did I know how on earth we were connected on Instagram. (First you have to understand although I work as a designer, I don’t really know much about the design industry. I prefer to eat and read, so the chance of meeting Liane is like 1% to me.) That was about three years ago. I simply enjoyed Liane’s view of things and nature. The rest was a mystery.
It was till I started working on the design for Sydney’s Art & About festival the following year, did I notice Liane’s name on the photography judge panel. I still remembered that day I was so surprised to see someone who I distantly knew, suddenly appeared on the work I was doing. The first time we ‘met’ was at a talk hosted by a design agency. I am generally not interested in going to any talk or exhibition opening, but I didn’t want to disappoint my manager so I went with him. Only 30 seconds before the talk started, I felt someone tapping my shoulder. I turned around and saw Liane standing behind me with a big smile, whispering, ‘I am Liane! I love your work!’. I begged her pardon as I couldn’t catch what she said. Again she told me she was Liane on Instagram and she loved my work. I couldn’t get to talk to her later that night as I escaped in the middle of the talk. But I never forget her mysterious appearance and her sincere, pure, beautiful smile.
The only proper conversation we had was when I visited her at her studio earlier this year. This time I got to decipher the mystery – to talk to Liane in real life, see the ceramics she has been making, learn about her thoughts and the way she works. Liane speaks softly, always with a smile. Intelligent, philosophical, peaceful, but also playful and almost child-like. Sam her husband was there too. He saw the red apple on the table and showed me where the tree leaf sat before it was picked. Near the stem on one side, there was a green area in the shape of a leaf as if it was painted deliberately. I was surprised to learn about it as I had never paid attention to the colours on apples, nor had I wondered why they varied so differently.
Every time when I go out to shop for a ‘vase’, I often think about Liane. I guess I am searching for the qualities that are very similar to her work and her impression to me – simplicity, honesty, a sense of stillness and peace, and most importantly, the respect for nature. These vases are the easiest to make compared to any other of my food sculptures, but over time they are also the hardest to find in my local inner-city supermarkets. In my conversation with Liane, she encouraged me to source ingredients from local veggie patch. I haven’t tried it in Sydney, but I did visit a home growers’ market when I was in Hungary a few months ago. Old Hungarian ladies grow their own fruits, vegetables and flowers in their backyards, travel to the city to sell them every Saturday morning. Almost everything they grow is a unique piece of art (see below).
Before I run out of vases I shall take Liane’s advice and visit some veggie patch. I thank her for her inspiration and support.
Bitter melon pot.
Hungarian green paprika pot.
Hungarian squash vase.
Unknown plant pot.
Sweet potato fish vase.
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