Freya Powell is in the midst of a floral obsession and for the last two years has channeled that obsession into painting. Though relatively new to acrylic and canvas, Freya’s creative portfolio bridges multiple fields. In 2009 she completed a degree in Fashion Design at Nottingham Trent University and established a strong skill-set in textiles and design. Focusing on silhouettes, shape generation and pared-back aesthetics, Freya’s degree propelled her further into fashion following her selection into the London Graduate Fashion Week. The list of her accolades continues with selection in the London Clothes Show Live and published editorials with L’Oreal, Vidal Sassoon and Notion Magazine. Freya has since spent a few years developing her own textile prints (based on floral imagery of course) and ventured into digital prints and home ware prints.
Now living in Sydney, Australia, Freya has taken on painting as the new medium through which she explores her visual concepts. She looks to botany for inspiration and notes her upbringing as something of a catalyst in this regard. “I grew up in a cottage with a quintessential English garden that was abundant with an enormous variety of plant life. I spent a large part of my childhood outside, growing plants from seeds and collecting flower specimens and hiding out in the woodlands.”
In her current series, Freya looks to the temporal nature of flowers, noting their fluid, silken structure as having the likeness of fabric. Her process begins by selecting a variety of flowers, sometimes with a particular specimen in mind, sometimes spontaneously. She then photographs the flowers in different lights and arrangements over the course of several days. The images she picks are dependent on the flower and when they look most interesting in their gentle period of decay- “Some flowers looks best in full bloom, but I find others take on a new kind of beauty when they start to wilt”. Once decided on an image, Freya commits herself to the canvas. She has a tendency to keep her backgrounds white, giving the subject a feeling of being weightlessly suspended- “It emphasises the transitory moment of the fickle bloom”.
Freya loves to paint with acrylics given that the pigmentation is great and the drying time is quick, so she can work continuously.
Her plans for the near future include the development of her painting and starting a new series of giclee prints based on her current floral expositions.
Read more about Freya on our blog.