Spotlight Interview: Marcin Rusak

Here at McQueens, we work with and provide flowers for many designers and artists who use nature as a medium for expression in their work. We have been delighted to offer recycled flowers to artist Marcin Rusak for use in his work for a number of years. We are inspired by his approach, intrigued by his process and full of admiration for the second life he gives to flowers and foliage.

Exquisitely detailed Flora Cabinet
Created by Marcin Rusak. We love the workmanship with this exquisitely detailed Flora Cabinet

Born in Poland in 1987, Marcin Rusak is a multi-award winning multidisciplinary designer and artist who creates through many media. He has exhibited around the world and explores the ideas of value, ephemerality and consumption in his work. Marcin places importance on the ageing process and finds potential and beauty in things that would often be disregarded. Flowers are a recurring theme in his work and he is known around the world for unique pieces and commisions created out of resin and infused with flowers and foliage. We spoke to Marcin to find out all about his life and his art.

Marcin Rusak flower infused resin
Marcin places importance on the ageing process and finds potential and beauty in things that would often be disregarded.

How did you begin your path to creating art?                                                           I think it grew into me over the years. I thought I will be an architect or work in diplomacy but life events and circumstances led me to study design and shortly afterwards I knew I wanted to have my own studio.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration for the Flora Collection comes mostly from my investigation into natural decoration but also into objects that have some kind of life on their own, where they change or evolve visually over time. In suspending floral and vegetal matter within the resin, I allow the material to retain its authentic and genuine qualities. 
 

Flowers seem to have a particular fascination with you. Why are you drawn to flowers?                                                                                                                 My family was growing flowers for a couple of generations, since 1904, but I was born at the time when the whole business was shut down. My mother was the first one not to continue the tradition, however, but it was not her choice, Although I never experienced the full flower growing process, the post-industrial landscape of abandoned glasshouses was my childhood playground. I imagine that flowers were always part of my life.

Each creation has a unique character of its own
Low Table created by Marcin Rusak. Each creation has a unique character of its own

What do you think flower represent and why are they so important? 
Once flowers fulfil our decorative or symbolic needs, they become an unwanted and discarded reminiscence of life. Treated and processed, they regain some significance and become part of a work which either refers to their very temporary nature, or they are used as decoration itself. This reveals their potential to create patterns (as in the Flora Lamp /Flora Screen). Flora Collection is another avenue in using the potential of waste flowers and creating something of value and hopefully some kind of natural aesthetic which can make us want to keep those objects for longer.
 
I had this sense that there was a logic to employing actual natural material, in this case flowers, as the source of aesthetics to make objects that have greater meaning, literally cast within them, as well as the ability to transcend our fickle and fleeting tastes. 
 

What type of flowers do you like the most?                                                               I don’t have one. Each piece is composed almost like a painting where I choose the flowers for their sculptural qualities and colours.

 

We have been delighted to offer you recycled flower for your work and love the second life given to flowers with your creations. You explore themes of consumption and concerns for the environment. What has been the approach to this in your work?                                                                     Given my extensive studies in the area, I have never designed what is expected to be an industrial product. My work has always been turning towards the unknown territories of expression in form and processes as well as materiality with an extensive research focus. Playing with the processes of destruction, renewal and reconstruction, I want to stimulate questions about history and possible future scenarios. I am still contributing to material culture, so I can’t claim to have found a cure to over-consumption or waste, but I hope to be making things that have enduring appeal both aesthetically and conceptually.

What are your plans for the future?                                                                             I am in the process of exploring different avenues, experimenting and playing with different materials. I think the meaning of functionality varies in terms of my work. I see the function in my objects being perishable as it helps to create awareness of the existence of the object in the first place. I also always thought that perishing and decaying elements from nature are much more interesting aesthetically as they represent change, they show some transitional stage which for me represents life, which is never still. I can’t wait to explore this further!

http://marcinrusakstudio.com/