Happy International Women's Day

Here's one woman I think everyone should know about.

I first heard of Wangari Maathai when travelling in Kenya - I picked up her autobiography in the gift shop at Nairobi National Museum, where I was volunteering. 
Just two days later, she suddenly passed away and the entire country went into national mourning. Through radio, newspaper and TV reports, and of course this book, I learned so much about this remarkable woman, her struggles, her vision for the environment & sustainable development, the Green Belt movement, and it was hearing her story that inspired me to start thinking about what I could do to contribute to protecting the environment... 


I'm still working it out and trying different approaches, but the seeds for Bryony&Bloom were planted in Kenya largely thanks to this woman and so today I am revisiting her inspiring story (sitting in my Bryony&Bloom armchair!) as I continue to develop my own practice, and I heartily encourage everyone to grab their own copy of Unbowed. She was a tenacious and courageous woman, and hers is an incredible story.

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Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own - indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognising that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come.
— Wangari Maathai

{LICHEN BLUE} gadget skins launched

Happy new year! Fresh start, new look? The clever folk over at DecalGirl have turned my {LICHEN BLUE} oil painting pattern into beautiful, bright and unique device skins, which you can now order here.

(P.S. They have a fab January sale on)

A redirection...

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Earlier this summer I made the decision to wind down my product design work. I've absolutely loved turning my paintings into items like cushions, lampshades and mugs, and it has been such a joy to receive photos from customers sharing the products in their new homes. But --- the whole idea of scaling up, mass production, entering into the competitive world of high street retail has never sat very well with me. 

The reason I wanted to start Bryony&Bloom was very much inspired by the sense that we're becoming disconnected from nature and I was searching for a way to use my art to celebrate the natural world and bring a touch of wilderness back into the manmade world. Alas, creating more "stuff", even when it is loved by its owners, impacts the environment. 

So, for years now - even before I had the idea to start Bryony&Bloom back in 2013 - I have been really drawn to the power of public art, specifically murals, in helping to communicate important messages and enliven dull, lifeless environments. What's so brilliant about public art is that absolutely anyone can happen across it. It's not exclusive. And murals are all about enhancing existing structures - bringing colour and beauty into often unexpected places. Therefore, I've decided to redirect the focus of Bryony&Bloom towards the public realm and will not be making any more products. 

I will be selling the last of my stock at shows over the next few months, so if you're London based please do pop by, say hello and pick up a bargain - and very exclusive! - Bryony&Bloom original. I'll share event details on the website as well as on the Facebook page.

I'd like to thank you all for your support over the past few years, it has been such a pleasure sharing my designs with you, and I really look forward to sharing this exciting new phase with you all over the coming months and year. 

Best wishes,
Bryony x

 

 

Select A Maker interview

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Earlier on this month I was interviewed by the lovely folk at Select A Maker, a website dedicated to developing the UK's bespoke interior decor market. Founded by interior designer Yasmin Chopin, the site links specialist designer makers, like Bryony&Bloom, with architects, interior designers and garden designers who are seeking unique, bespoke designs for their clients.

You can read the full interview, including my top 5 tips when designing with art, here

The richness, beauty and delicacy of Bryony’s designs are quite breathtaking.
— Select A Maker, 2016

 

 

Get stuck in!

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Over May bank holiday I will be running free mural painting workshops as part of the Botanical Bentley project I have been working on. This is your opportunity to grab the paints and co-create a vibrant wall hanging inspired by the gardens and collections at Bentley Priory! The more the merrier and all levels / ages are very welcome. 

Click here to find out more about the Botanical Bentley project and the research I've been undertaking at Kew Gardens...

 

Painting in progress

A quick progress report for mural number one at Bentley Priory Museum. I am currently half way through - the design has been mapped out on the walls and now I am focusing on each flower in detail. This mural celebrates the history of Bentley Priory gardens - each flower I am painting was first planted on the site in the 19th century - and is being painted in the style of Victorian botanical illustrations. With a Bryony&Bloom twist, of course!