We went back to nature for last night’s Nicer Tuesdays with four speakers who explore, question and help make sense of the world around us through their creative practices.
First up we had Tom Murphy and Emma Sibley, co-founders of London Terrariums, who explained how collecting plants “from memorable places that meant something to us” grew into a company that supplies homes, shops, restaurants and runs workshops. The pair’s passion was palpable as they enthused about experimenting with “different soils and different compost mixes” or repurposing corn-on-the-cob skewers as terrarium tools, and said this scientific element was more important than the aesthetics for them. “It’s quite nice to stumble into something and discover that you love it,” they said.
Next we heard from illustrator and former It’s Nice That Graduate Katie Scott, who explained her work was “inspired by nature and the human desire to understand and code it over time.” From the Ancient Greeks onwards, her interest lies in how different civilisations tried to understand the natural world through a combination of “observation and complete fantasy.” From her commercial work to her children’s book Animalium, Katie keeps this spirit alive and she spoke gleefully about getting with sneaking her own interpretations of the natural world into her work.
First up after the break was Carol Montpart, co-founder and creative director of The Plant magazine. Founded in 2010 with Cristina and Isabel Merino (“Imagine having a discussion about anything with two sisters!”) the trio’s shared love of horticulture has blossomed into a really popular publication. Carol spoke beautifully about how their process echoes the subject matter –“The magazine works like nature works – organic and dynamic” although that brings its own challenges. Now at the eighth issue, The Plant attracts contributors from Wolfgang Tillmans to Tilda Swinton (who wrote a poem abut her favourite tree).
Finally Je Ahn, founding director of Studio Weave, took us on a tour through some of its nature-based projects. He spoke about redeveloping St Pancras Churchyard – a plot of land that lay untouched since The Great Fire of London in 1666 – inspired by the idea of a church becoming wild over 340 years, and the studio’s current work rebuilding a charity’s base as a rural hamlet. He also explained how Ecology of Colour came together, an al fresco structure that transformed a Kent park (“used for drugs and other nighttime activities”) by harnessing the energy of the local community and celebrating colour, shape and pattern in an ambitious yet playful way.
Thanks to Park Communications, our speakers and everyone who came along – Nicer Tuesdays returns on 30 June.
Founded in 1991, Park Communications is considered by many to be London’s preeminent printer. With a roster of both corporate and cultural clients, Park is a one-stop-shop to translate, artwork, print and bind literature of many different kinds, from the finest coffee table books and catalogues, through FTSE annual reports, to niche market magazines and brochures. Working closely with clients to develop bespoke creative solutions, Park’s reputation is built on the highest quality, reliability and flexibility.
They have brought their professionalism to both our Printed Pages magazine and the It’s Nice That Annual 2014, and we look forward to working with them in 2015 and beyond. To contact Park, email Alison at email@example.com or via the website www.parkcom.co.uk.