A Little Seed of Inspiration

In the depths of last winter, I was experiencing a touch of seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression, longing for sunshine and dreaming of flowers. The grey skies of London rained down with drizzle almost every day, and had been doing so for months, and would be for a few months more. One evening I was looking through Vanity Fair, admiring the beautiful images and thought ‘wouldn’t it be amazing to start a publication, establishing such a legacy that the images published document and influence our culture’. Some of the most memorable (dare I say iconic) images of the current and last century have been commissioned and published by magazines. Annie Leibovitz’s work, personally one of my favourite photographers, comes easily to mind.

At the time, I gave the idea some thought, wondering what type of magazine it could be. I talked to a friend who has previously published an online magazine about dance, her field and industry of choice. I mused it could be something to do with art… but the concept wasn’t really there. I didn’t give the idea of publishing a magazine much thought after that. After all I had no idea how to go about it anyways.

In June, I discovered online a Frieze Academy course, ‘Introduction to Independent Magazine Publishing’ happening in London and was immediately intrigued. I started a search about independent magazines and discovered MagCulture, Stack Magazines, blogs and shops solely dedicated to the business of independent publications. I felt like the world exploded, in the best way. It was really that ‘lightbulb moment’ where I was finding out that one didn’t have to be a major publishing house to create a magazine. People around London, Europe, the world, were making beautiful magazines about the most fascinating topics and niche areas. I signed up for the course, and worked on my concept - if I could publish a magazine, what would it be about?

Since studying photography in Canada, and creating several new series in London last summer, I was already working on a personal blog with flowers as one of two muses. Flowers have always inspired me - their beauty has caught my eye and inspired a need to document, examine, and explore them with my camera, their meaning and language has spoken to me and inspired a search for books about their culture, their history. Flowers endlessly fascinate me.

Upon discovering how niche some magazine titles chose their subjects, I thought, why not flowers? There is so much to this world of botany, flora, I would like the explore. I truly believe flowers have so much to say, and throughout history we have documented how they have affected our world. From old botanical texts, on the walls of museums, cookbooks in our kitchens and medicinal documents on the apothecaries shelf, flowers are there.

As I continued my research, I came to realise that flowers are usually portrayed visually in the same way, much as they have been for a few hundred years. A realistic, detailed replica of exactly what that flower looks like as we see it in front of us. I love old botanical illustrations, but a question came to mind - how do we see flowers today? Art has changed throughout history, flowing through movements, with leaders at the helm, bringing their vision and creativity forward to shake things up. Through many scribbled notes, brainstorming, reading and research, the concept came together - a publication to explore how we see flowers in modern times. An in depth look into their world, one flower at a time. Hence, Future Fossil Flora was born.