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Sowing seeds of inspiration

If you’re familiar with Anna Bu Kliewer’s work, you might have noticed one of a number of themes that often crops up – plants. Plants of all kind – vegetation, leaves, grass, fruit, shrubbery, flowers and more. What’s going on here? We asked Anna to see whether she can enlighten us:

How have plants influenced your work?

Plants and flowers are a constant inspiration as they are constantly around me. I find them very calming. Yellow, beige and green are my favourite colours. 

Do you know when you first used plants in your work?

Plants have been around in my collage work for about eight years. I just love their shapes.

Do you use actual plants as well as images?

When I am in South Africa (going back in March) I like to use paper on actual bushes, plants and flowers. The sense of transience is interesting to me – ‘letting nature take its course’.

This year I have also done a few pieces with dried leaves as someone in the house forgot to water plants while I was away…  

Do you ever use other wildlife in your work, or is it just plants?

Anything in nature has great shapes. I really enjoy using flora and fauna from the ocean, some of the colours are incredible, you can even find neon orange under water.

Do you keep plants at home?

I have about 70 plants at my house at the moment. There are multiple plant shops around the corner as well as Columbia Road Flower Market which is a weekly temptation. I would like to get up to 100.

Do you talk to them?

So far I have not, but I like the idea!

And eat them?

I am vegan so I am on a plant-based diet which has done wonders for my health and well-being. Living in London makes it extremely easy to not eat any animal products. If I am abroad it becomes more complicated. Multiple times I have heard (family members included): ‘But you can still eat chicken, right? No? But at least eggs, then?’.