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    Boz Art


    Inviting nature in has a grounding effect on us. We know that simply looking at nature lowers our cortisol levels, and it is the environment most of us instinctively feel calm in.

    Incorporating natural elements, such as cut flowers and greenery, is a surprisingly powerful way of enhancing our spaces, able to generate a feeling of restorative quality that is deeply felt by our bodies and minds.
    In her work, the Stockholm-based floral artist Mirja Bozarth Fornell explores a particular meeting between nature and human, often weaving together the natural and artificial in a manner that truly reflects how we live today.

    Mirja Bozarth Fornell’s business Boz Art is a botanical one, delving into the existential aspects of floral design. Her floral arrangements, sculptures and installations are both visually and emotionally striking, often provoking a physical reaction in the observer – the impulse to touch, smell or even crush between one's hands.

    "It was a complete happenstance that I started working with flowers. I have been many things in my life – a ballerina, a gardener, a writer, the CEO of an architectural firm. "

    — Someone offered me the chance to be part of a new floral business, but I declined. Yet, the idea was planted in me. I never planned to work with floral design or art. Even now, I can’t really fathom that it is what I do.

    There is a distinct tension between human and nature, the artificial and the natural, in her work. While some flowers are left pristine, dewy as if just been picked, others are spray-painted and altered to a new expression.

    — I am not an educated florist, something I never call myself out of respect for the profession. It is precisely what allows me to disregard all of the rules and predictions of the field. If I think it looks good, I just go ahead. 

    — I often use fake flowers of textile or plastic, mixing them with fresh cut flowers or something I pick behind our house - a mishmash of sorts.

    —  If I want it to be Klein blue, then I look for things that are Klein blue. Fake things, dip-dyed flowers or something else completely. That doesn’t mean it is trashy or coarse. The result can be quite poetic. It doesn’t bother me, that is just how we live nowadays.

    Her compositions are distinct and unexpected, often balancing poetry with cheekiness and humor. For Muuto’s installation A space that feels just right at the Danish design week 3daysofdesign, she off-kilterly mixed flowers fresh, dry and painted alongside edible greens such as kale and Welsh onion. The result was enigmatic, drawing people in to have a second look, to touch and smell.

    Inspired by the phenomenon freakebana, a term coined by writer Stella Bugby in 2017, she often creates arrangements with objects that do not usually find their way into our vases. In Bozarth Fornell’s hands, anything can become a floral arrangement.

    — The Freakebana movement rose to fame in New York a few years ago. It is delightfully disrespectful. It looks to the incredible art form that is ikebana, the traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement, yet chooses not to be too worried about the rules. People are so anxious about how things are supposed to be done. Many come to me and say, I don’t know how to put together floral arrangements and ascribe all of this weight to how you put flowers in a vase.

    — Freakebana can be about putting candy in an arrangement, or even pumpkins or pieces of bread. It is just flowers after all!

    "I work on finding the right shapes and forms to accentuate the flower. We should dare to be more childish and not to take ourselves too seriously."

    Letting go of control and unhinging the wilderness of plants has not only aesthetic and poetic potential, but also one of emotion. When asked what flowers and plants can do to enhance our lives, she cites the florist, artist and philosopher Dr Lisa Cooper: “Flowers, when done right, are pure emotion.”

    — In Stockholm, the end of January is the worst. It is shades of gray, black and brown, dark with only 4 hours of daylight. That is when the Italian poppies arrive and when you put them in front of people, they get a visible physical reaction. They almost have the urge to crush them between their hands, to drink their essence. People lose their breath. That is so magical to witness.

    To discover more of Mirja's work and universe of Boz Art, please click here!

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    Part of the MillerKnoll Collective