Dutch Photographer Repurposes Flowers Destined for Destruction

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by Rozalia Jovanovic

Upon hearing the news that flower growers in the Netherlands were destroying hundreds of thousands of blooms, 80 percent of their inventory, Dutch photographer Isabelle Van Zeijl, set out to save the flowers from destruction. With blooms that she rescued, she has created a series of works that fittingly touch on themes of renewal and rebirth.

In the series, which Zeijl has dubbed “The Rebirth of the Dutch Flower,” she incorporates the blossoms in self-portraits intended to convey a message of growth and transformation.

“It is about giving back and sharing hope and beauty with others,” said Zeijl in a statement. “The Root of hope lives in all of us. Is a flower not the perfect metaphor for hope? You tend the soil, you plant the seed, you fertilize and nurture it. With hope it will grow vibrant.”

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Zeijl’s work, in general, aims to aestheticize the prejudice, discrimination, misogyny, and violence that women experience in their daily lives. Drawing from sources such as Dutch Golden Age painting and social media, her work celebrates beauty and creates a conversation about the shifting perceptions of female allure.

Isabelle Van Zeijl

Art advisor Stephanie Manasseh has teamed up with Zeijl to sell work from the series and in the process help women who have suffered from domestic abuse while on lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Beginning May 7, a work from the new series entitled New Earth will be available for sale through Manasseh’s SM Art Advisory. Ten percent of the proceeds of the sales will go to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

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“I think Isabelle’s idea of using Dutch flowers that have been destined for the bin is very poignant, especially during this time of Covid-19,” said Manasseh. “She is using her art to bring awareness of this loss of income to this industry while supporting a very meaningful charity.”

Photo credits: Image courtesy of SM Art Advisory