Incollect Magazine - Issue 2 Preview

2022 Incollect Magazine 15 Previous page: Marcin Rusak, photo by Kasia Bielska. This page, clockwise from upper left: Flora Cabinet 176 Black, with steel powder-coated, textured conical legs. Created for the Flora Temporaria series, this dramatic black version has become a sensation, calling to mind the opulent floral paintings to the Dutch Golden Age. Photos by Mathijs Labadie. The Flora Cabinet 90 Clear, in transparent/ translucent amber resin with polished stainless steel frame. The clarity of the amber resin allows the flora to be seen in greater dimensional detail, bringing to mind ancient amber fossils. Limited edition of 3, exclusively for Twenty First Gallery. Flora Table 120, with a sand cast aluminum frame, a custom commission with Joshua Rice Design. can add to the meaning and creative expression of the outcome. For example, with the Tephra series, we collaborated with a landscape architect and botanist to develop a new object that would be entirely grown over by real, living plants. We even built a custom greenhouse (grow tent) in the studio and experimented with growing different plant species that would overgrow, in a semi-controlled environment, the sculptural form. Where do you get your materials, and how do you store and preserve them? Marcin Rusak: We collect discarded, unused flowers from flower markets and florists we have good relations with. We also get loads of them from friends and family members who think of us and send them over to us once they die or are being cut in the garden. We have created a material library at the studio where we currently have a vast collection of different flower species ready to be used in our projects. The flower material is stored in separate labeled containers devoted to specific projects. We also developed around seven different ways of processing and preserving the flower species, for different purposes. Can you describe the process of the evolution/ transformation from the early beautiful dark cabinets and tables to white ones and now the clear series? Marcin Rusak: The ideas of evolution and transformation are, in fact, key to the understanding of my practice. With the Flora Temporaria material, the black version has proven to be the most popular among the range of colors and finishes we propose within the Flora collection. It was one of the first iterations I have developed, and it has been in production continuously since ca. 2017. With Flora’s first iteration, the premise was to create a material that would age gracefully, pointing towards the change that happens within the material. I experimented with implementing a set of bacteria that would consume the flowers, leaving hollow, ghostly traces of their existence. Also, if the flower- infused resin is not completely sealed from the back and the flowers have access to fresh air, they shrink over time, creating silvery voids around them. By cutting slabs of the Flora material, I came up with the second variety — the Flora Perma. Here, the buds and blooms are seen in cross-sections, revealing their anatomical structure. The material resembles real stone, with its veins, cavities and fossils. For the Flora Contemporaria collection, made for the Twenty First gallery, we