Flowers and botanicals are often viewed as a feminine concept or aesthetic, typically in design or art. Rather then let these concepts define them, female artists in history embraced the idea and contributed some of the greatest examples of botanical art, examples that are according to Marika Meyer, owner/founder of Marika Meyer Interiors and Marika Meyer Textiles, “detailed and accurate, but also beautiful and captivating.” Meyer’s appreciation for these women sparked an interest in botanical art, and then further a collection of fabric called the Flora Collection dedicated to artists in the field.
“The more I explored the history of the botanical art form, the more I learned about the role women played in the field,” Meyer says. “I felt it was important to honor both their contribution to this genre and their amazing artistry in [a] collection.” Meyer then decided, after having already designed collections inspired by her love of antiquities, to challenge herself creatively and to explore another path in textiles.
The collection is composed of three patterns, Matilda, Lilian and Beatrix, after famous female artists. Matilda Smith was a prolific illustrator in the late 19th/early 20th century that created bold, ambitious pieces that reflected her resilience to the craft, as she made some of the largest botanical works of her time.
“Lilian Snelling has been referred to as the most important British botanical artist of the first half of the 20th century,” she notes. “She completed more than 600 works in her career beginning at the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and later with Kew Gardens.” And while many people don’t realize that in addition to being the author of some of the most beloved children’s stories, Beatrix Potter was also an accomplished artist and illustrator. “Her illustrations were just as whimsical and enchanting. That is why a petite floral seemed the perfect fit,” Meyer says.
The work that went into the collection came from a passionate, artistic state of mind, as Meyer says she began by free hand sketching designs, leading her eventually the idea of botanical prints because of their universal beauty that transcends time.
“All of my designs are rooted in the elements of art and culture that persist throughout time,” Meyers notes, including the style/design trends of today that inspired warm colors and tones like yellow ochre, warm charcoal brown and steel green.
Ultimately, Meyer says her goal is to always to create designs that can be the foundation for any space. “As an interior designer, fabric is my starting point in any scheme. I often ask myself questions in the design process, ‘Would I use this fabric?’ ‘How would I use it?’ Any of the designs in this collection should be strong enough to act as the jumping off point for a room.” The patterns in this collection are definitely strong options that also offer an interpretation of these artists’ personality, style and significance.
Photos by Angie Seckinger