Margriet Smulders was born in the Netherlands, where she continues to reside, surrounded by flowers and influenced by Dutch masters. In 1999, Margriet experienced an exhibition of sumptuous Dutch floral still-lives from the Golden Age, at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, that set her photographic course in motion. At that time I began to ‘paint’ floral still-life compositions with the help of a mirror, so that the total looked richer, more generous and more highly scented, with purple irises, ragged orange tulips and crumpled lips of full-blown petals that appear to be moving in the rippled waters. The effect is like looking into a clear pond, where rivulets of pure water descend from glacial protrusions.
Endless garlands of flowers curled around the borders of my note pads when I was a school girl. And thousands of roses were cut out from my mother’s gardening books. At the Academy of Arts, flowers as large as life were painted on my canvasses. There were always flowers. They flourished in the self-portraits of the eighties and grew bigger in the flower wallpapers made in the nineties. You can see a whole world in my flowers. Lush and strangely erotic tableaux entice you into another dimension. Huge mirrors, elaborate glass vases, rich draperies, fruit and cut blooms are used to make these ‘paintings’.
As Baudelaire says “Get drunk: on wine, poetry or virtue”. Imagine lingering and languishing in these fresh, sultry and lucid landscapes. I love this sensual state. To lose myself, to deliver myself as in a love affair. Reality doesn’t matter. When making photos I get lost in the scenes as if the flowers were caressing me in the gulfs of the sea.
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