Fleur Woods is one of our all-time favourite artists and we couldn't be more excited about the launch of her newest collection, Bloom Revolution!! Her work sparks all kinds of joy and we're completely captivated by the stitch detail she spends hours sewing into each and every piece. We caught up with Fleur ahead of the launch of her brilliant new collection and chatted about her life-long love affair with flowers, career highlights and why she can't go past 90's RnB.
Fleur, it's so lovely to be chatting with you finally! Tell us about when your love of art started, and how your career has been as an artist? "THANKS!!! I think maybe I was born an artist and it just took me a little while to embrace it. I've always seen the world through sensitive, creative eyes and was lucky to move and travel a lot with my family when I was young. This definitely elevated creativity for me as we were a museums & galleries type family so I got to experience some inspiring art, architecture & design from a young age."
Tell us about rural New Zealand and where you live. "My wee fam and I live in a gorgeous little village, Upper Moutere, near Nelson at the top of the South Island. It's a wine, hop & orchard region just inland from beautiful beaches & surrounded by national parks. It's pretty magic. There are lots of creative people doing really nice stuff here (www.moutereartisans.co.nz)."
Tell us about your love of flowers and plants "Flora is part of my DNA...I mean my name is Fleur Woods, it's ridiculous! My Mum is an avid gardener and as a result I got to grow up around flowers. We moved to NZ from Hong Kong when I was 8 & I definitely think the contrast of our HK concrete roof top garden and the abundance of nature in NZ must have really stood out to me as an early influence. I am just so in awe of the life cycle of flowers and the amazing resilience they have, the joy a single bloom can bring me is immense, it is the ultimate art to me."
It sounds as though this is a huge source of inspiration for you! "Inspiration for me is everywhere, I grow a few flowers from seed in my own (very average) garden, I love following florists & floral artists on Insta like @flowersvassette @hattiemolloy @woodlucker & sooo many more but my favourite source of floral imagery is old gardening books l find in op shops with gorgeous illustrations."
What is your interior style? What other artists do you love and have hanging in your home? "Our home is eclectic in part because it's a rental, so we have to work with the 70s-90s farm house base. Luckily I'm a treasure hunter so I find vintage and retro bits n bobs to mix in with contemporary furniture that feels fun to me. We have some great pieces that I adore by some of my fav Kiwi & international artists, Clare Celeste Borsch, Veronica Green, Jessica Lindblom-Brice, Sophie Holt. I'm coveting some Elle Campbell & Georgie Wilson works right now as well as Katherine Throne & Elizabeth Barnett."
What's been the best thing to happen in your career so far? "Every time I think the best thing has happened there is a new best thing but I would have to say that my first ever feature in a mag was pretty magic. I was finding it really hard to get picked up and had just had a bucket load of rejections when I got an email from the then Style Editor of Inside Out Mag Jessica Hanson, she asked if I could stitch some designs on a large piece of linen to form the background for their mother's day feature. I had 7 days to create a massive artwork and was totally out of my comfort zone but I just did it and hoped for the best. After that feature I started getting orders...the first was from JUMBLED & I haven't looked back!"
When are you at your happiest? "Stitching in the sunshine in my studio or in nature with my family."
What is something not many people know about you? "I love 90's hip hop and even though I'm basically a 38 year old nana I like to think Im a tiny bit gangster haha!"
What exciting things do you have planned for 2019? We're releasing my new collection right now, its called Bloom Revolution & Im feeling really proud of it, so that's super exciting! I'm also carving out a window of studio time to embark on a collab with Berlin based artist Clare Celeste Borsch! Her collage installation work is sublime. There's also some traveling and teaching workshops which I really love! Lots happening!"
The Jumbled Quickie:
- The first thing you do when you have spare time: Spend time with the fam / catch up with friends
- Guilty pleasure: Donuts/lollies and trash telly
- Dream Collaboration: Gucci
- Hidden Talent? Baking cakes!
- One thing from your bucket list: Visit India
- Favourite Spotify Playlist?: LP (she's amazing)
- Go-to meal to cook when you have friends over?: Hubby is the chef when friends come over, I'm chief wine drinker
- Craziest thing you've ever done? Jack in my well paid corporate job & become a full time artist
- Last book you read: The Alchemist
- Favourite family tradition? Christmas Day sitting in a circle taking turns to open pressies
- Current Netflix addiction? Queer Eye
- Song that gets you on the dancefloor: Anything by Salt N Peppa or Fat Freddys Drop