Dutch collage artist Anne ten Donkelaar employs nature as her medium, and the outcome is positively brilliant. Her ecological masterpieces, characterized by painstaking detail, recreate and resurrect nature for art’s sake.
About her inspiration:
A damaged butterfly, a broken twig, a bumblebee, some strangely grown weeds: I find all these unique discoveries in my path and then take them home to my studio. Here, I take my time to explore the objects and try to work out how I can show each one to it’s best advantage. My finds inspire me. While looking at them I can invent my own stories about their existence and their lives. By protecting these precious pieces under glass, I give the objects a second life and hope to inspire people to make up their own stories about them.
The pieces showcased in her Broken Butterflies and Flower Constructions collections transport the viewer to a whimsical world. Using butterflies, bumblebees, pressed flowers, twigs, and flower cutout pictures, as her medium, she meticulously orchestrates the stuff of fantasy. Each component delicately sets upon a pin, creating a 3-dimensional dreamland behind glass.
Within the Broken Butterflies collection, each piece comes with a story, a tragedy of brokenness, from which our heroine resurrects something beautiful.
And the Floral Constructions are botanic explosions, chaotic blossoms, a secret garden planted upon canvas, indulging fantasies of a utopian paradise.
About Broken Butterflies:
I had my own collection of damaged butterflies, so I decided to repair each one differently according to their needs. So in a way, I now have my own workplace with butterflies and give the butterflies a second life. I design body parts and give the insects new names, names that reveal something about their recovery.
About Flower Constructions:
Imagine a big bang, a firework of flower seeds thrown into space. What would happen? New fragile flowers arise, new flower planets start evolving, planets where no one has ever been. These detailed landscapes seem to be elevated so you can walk through them. Weeds become poetry, each unique twig gets attention, nature seems to float.
Flower constructions are 3d collages from pressed flowers and cut out flower pictures. Each element is meticulously placed on pins which creates the depth. Some of them are like a fantasy Herbaria, filled with dried flowers or branches, with irregular shapes and sophisticated twists and some refer to planets.