Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Studio Visit: Botanical Artist Anne ten Donkelaar

Search

Studio Visit: Botanical Artist Anne ten Donkelaar

November 22, 2017

To see the botanical collage work of Dutch artist Anne ten Donkelaar is to marvel; to see her collages in person is to be transported to another world. As Anne says, “I see them as planets, floating. As if seeds were thrown into space and then grew…wild.”

Photographs by Joris Louwes except where noted.

 A three-dimensional work by Anne ten Donkelaar. Photo by Vladi Rapport
A three-dimensional work by Anne ten Donkelaar. Photo by Vladi Rapport
A finished work. Note the pins elevating each image, root and stem.
Above: A finished work. Note the pins elevating each image, root and stem.

Pictures of cacti, blossoms, buds and leaves clipped from old books Anne blends with dried plants, delicate roots and stems. Each image and object is elevated, mounted on a pin. The effect is surreal, but also wonderfully real too. And to stand next to a collage as tall as I was? I almost knelt down in worship.

Anne arranges each ‘plant’ prior to gluing each piece individually on mounting pins.
Above: Anne arranges each ‘plant’ prior to gluing each piece individually on mounting pins.

As a child, Anne made flower ‘soups’, plucking blossoms to create small swirling tapestries of colour. Later, on trips with her family to Austria and France in the summers, she began pressing flowers in books. That passion—for the foraged and the found—still underpins her work today. She uses a large press designed by her husband, Vladi Rapport, to accommodate finds from waysides and her own admittedly ‘wild garden’.

A custom-built plant press accommodates long stems. Anne uses sweet pea vines, wild fennel and dock stems.
Above: A custom-built plant press accommodates long stems. Anne uses sweet pea vines, wild fennel and dock stems.
 In the studio of Anne ten Donkelaar in Utrecht. The files at right hold cutout images arranged by colour.
Above: In the studio of Anne ten Donkelaar in Utrecht. The files at right hold cutout images arranged by colour.

Anne began working in embroidery after finishing her studies in 3-D product design. When asked about her shift from embroidery to collage, she said, “one day I saw the threads on my mood board connecting bits of plants, images and dried flowers, and I knew what direction to take.”

 A mood board in Anne ten Donkelaar&#8\2\17;s studio.
Above: A mood board in Anne ten Donkelaar’s studio.

Anne’s studio is not open to the public but her works are available by commission. Recently she has begun working on a series of ‘Underwater Ballet’ pieces, photographic works of underwater orchestrations. She positions plants in a large custom-built tank, while her husband captures the movement and moment—the choreography—of the work.

A piece from Anne ten Donkelaar&#8\2\17;s photographic series &#8\2\16;Underwater Ballet&#8\2\17;. Photograph by Vladi Rapport.
Above: A piece from Anne ten Donkelaar’s photographic series ‘Underwater Ballet’. Photograph by Vladi Rapport.

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0