Finding inspiration in a drought
With the garden looking thirsty, the earth scorched, the cost-of-living soaring, and tempers (ever so slightly!) frayed by the long school summer holidays, it’s perhaps not the easiest time to find inspiration. I’m always looking for new ways to inject creativity, colour and energy into our products and our business and, as we’ve found this summer, inspiration can be found anywhere – sometimes where we least expect it.
Often, the natural world is our muse – but how to find inspiration in a dried-up garden? This summer in England, the old adage of ‘every cloud’ has never been truer. The ‘silver lining’ of living in a country where it usually rains is – of course – colour! Our lush green fields and jewel-hued flowers are, ironically, only possible because a normal British summer is punctuated by its fair share of wet, grey days. However, climate and horticultural worries aside, we’re certainly not complaining about extra sunshine and have been making the most of proper outside entertaining, not needing a jumper in the evenings, and getting a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Lockdown taught us that nature can be the best form of therapy and I’m always harping on about the benefits of a brisk walk in the woods or a stroll on the beach. When I need my hit of colour, The Chelsea Flower Show, which took place in May – is a perennial source of creativity and inspiration for Faro. The colours, textures and ideas that are found here are – quite literally – ground-breaking, and we find ourselves looking back over the images time and time again. Our newest collection of Faro prints are inspired by some of the gardens we saw at Chelsea this year. Hyde Hall, in Essex, is another fantastic garden that has an inspirational, avant-garde approach; the Dry Garden is its crowning achievement – a garden showcasing drought-tolerant plants. It has over 400 species of plant – all cleverly designed to thrive in areas of low rainfall, beautifully landscaped to look good all year round.
Here are some other places we look for inspiration when we’re running low:
When we’re on holiday, we’ll often make time to nip into small art galleries, but in normal life, finding the time to visit an art gallery is rarely a priority.
When we do make time, we’re keen to see lots of eclectic work in one space, which makes the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy perfect for a quick browse. Here, you can tick off seeing hundreds of artists on the same walls; some famous; some just starting out. Much of it will be awful, some of it may pique your interest. And it’s all for sale. Similarly, the London Original Print Fair is an explosion of colour and variety. Held at Somerset House, you can admire work by Matisse and Picasso, alongside Grayson Perrys and David Hockneys, as well as plenty of lesser-known artists. You’ll leave feeling like you’ve seen the world in a morning.
We’ll admit it, it took us a while to warm up to British beaches. Coming from India, where the weather is warmer, the colours are brighter and the sand whiter, British beaches always struck us as a little drab. But we’ve finally come round to the subtle pastel-coloured beach huts in Southwold and Frinton, the bright pink crab salads and the kiss-me-quick nature of the British piers. Even the water this year is warm enough to dip our feet into, and no matter how old our children get, they are still taken by making sandcastles (read: burying each other) and cricket on a sandy beach! Even when the sun isn’t shining, we can now convince ourselves that a walk on the beach will clear some cobwebs and bring some much-needed new energy to our day.
Auction houses and brocante fairs
In Suffolk, we’re very lucky to be surrounded by some fantastic auction houses, and late summer is the best time to visit huge outdoor brocante fairs. whether you’re looking for a specific piece, or just for some inspiration for your home or mind, we love wandering around these treasure troves, imagining the stories behind some of the items. We’ve always enjoyed combining old and new and you can find quirky vintage items, high-end antique furniture, or wonderfully over-the-top silver tableware.
What about you, where do you find inspiration in a drought?
Wishing you an inspired end of Summer.
All the best,
- Unhung art – an online gallery featuring works by fabulous contemporary artists, all sold anonymously, and for great prices. Instagram @unhungart
- Southwold and Walton piers in Suffolk and Essex for a dressed crab or a lobster roll!
- Reeman Dansie and Manders auction houses for casual browsing and treasure hunting
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