I know! Ai Weiwei! The Chinese artist and activist visited Kettle's Yard earlier this month; I spotted him on their Instagram sitting next to Kettle's Yard Director Andrew Nairne on the wonderful day bed sofa in the House's extension. So as one does, I went down the rabbit hole of exploring their feeds when I was thrilled to see Ai had taken a picture of a small posy of our flowers in the house and posted it to his Instagram.
No comment, no location - he never tags them but nonetheless, of all there is to see in the house, the beauty, juxtapositions of colour, material, priceless art next to priceless natural treasures, Weiwei chose to simply snap an overhead shot of some short pink and white July garden grown flowers.
On talking to a few friends about this incredible find, I got thinking about the picture, the enormity of one of the most important living artists noticing that little posy and thinking enough to put on his instagram. Why did I keep thinking about it ?
And it struck me – this was the whole point, among all those pieces of art, Kettle’s Yard Originator, Jim Ede arranged little jars of flowers throughout the main house, carefully curating them with the home, complementing the found objects, books and furniture. He would do this weekly, representing the seasons, the place in the year. When pebbles would stay in their position, drawings framed and placed on the wall, the flower stems would change over the year introducing colour, shape and living stems into the scene. That posy can never be replicated. It is a snapshot of that day. The day after the blooms will have open and developed a little further. The next month, they will be replaced by the best of the garden in August.
As we believe, a little posy of cut flowers in your home, on the kitchen table, in the hallway welcoming you and your guests home, by your bed (or as a recent class attendee said her 'loo flowers'!) are simple luxuries that we can all have in our daily lives. It can be just a few branches or a single flower enjoyed for its exquisite, natural and ephemeral beauty. Pure luxury for all.
It took Ai Weiwei to reinforce that this simple arrangement of our flowers represents our true values at Anna’s Flower Farm. We want to share our flowers, farm and knowledge in growing and arranging so that you too can enjoy flowers everyday in the way that Jim Ede did alongside his art and Ai Weiwei captured on his visit.
If you'd to know more about the Flowers in Kettle's Yard and how Jim Ede used them, I am presenting a class at Kettle's Yard in September where participants will be shown how to decorate the home with seasonal flowers taking inspiration from the variety, styling and scale in the house.