my life in flowers

Roots Of Desire

Here we explore Mari Ito’s creative approach and delve into the inspiration behind her vibrant botanical depictions.

How would you describe your creative journey?

I am an artist working on the theme of the root of “desire”, something everyone has but is often invisible. When I was a child, I sometimes saw auras around my friends’ bodies and felt a kind of invisible energy. So it was natural for me to create artwork around the theme of the invisible.

Flowers are always at the root of how I express these desires. In Japan, we say of a very attractive person, “That person has flowers.” However, there are many types of flowers in both humans. I want all human beings to have their own flowers in bloom.

“Flowers are always at the root of how I express these desires. I want all human beings to have their own flowers in bloom.”

What have been your biggest influences and inspirations?

I have lived in Barcelona for 17 years. The city is very famous for Modernisme architecture represented by Lluis Domenech i Muntaner and Antoni Gaudi. I think I was influenced by the organic botanical patterns and the architecture of this period that abound in this city.

How does colour play a role in your work?

I feel that each colour has a different vibrational power. And I think that the power or energy felt by each colour and colour combination is also different, so I use very intuitive energy to decide which colour to place where.

How does nature play a part in your work?

I believe that the beauty of nature, the threats of nature, and the things that human power cannot compete with, are nature. Would it be better to say that it is like a god? In Japan, a big 500-year-old tree exists as a god of trees. I am a very small being when confronted with nature, and I think the same is true of the things I paint. I feel as if I am borrowing a little bit from the forms that exist in nature to paint a picture.

Which flowers hold most significance to you?

I am constantly looking at the numerous houseplants in my studio. The flowers and leaves in my paintings are always imaginary, but the base of the stem and all the plant features are inspired by my plants. I have various favourite flowers, so there is no flower of special great significance. I feel the arrival of autumn when I smell the fragrance of the blossoms on the golden osmanthus tree in the garden of my parents’ house in Tokyo. The colour is also orange, which is very autumnal. Just smelling the fragrance brings back childhood memories, seasons, and temperatures. Eucalyptus leaves, Nanten berries, and pine needles are my favourite winter combination because they are reminiscent of both Christmas and Japanese New Year.

Finally, any upcoming projects, plans, or trips you’d like to share with us?

This year, I am starting a project with photographer Toni Mateu in which I will actually go into nature to reflect on the natural and the unnatural, which will be presented in my next solo exhibition. I would like to continue and develop this new series of work in various locations. I have my next solo show from October 26th to November 23rd at Villa del Arte gallery in Barcelona.

Step into Mari’s vibrant world of botanicals @maribarcelona

Echo the vibrant colours if Mari's work with our CNY flower collection available for flower delivery in Singapore.