You first notice the flowers—the iridescent sheen of the delicate, metallic-glazed orchids that bloom out of a…vase?
Is that a vase? You take a closer look and it starts to remind you of a familiar, everyday object: the plastic bottle. The bottle you discarded, only to find it crawling back in a state of utter decay.
For Vogue Singapore’s launch issue, Dutch artist Thirza Schaap proposes a double reading: the juxtaposition of the exquisite Vanda Vogue Singapore orchid and a tragic ecological situation birthed by our collective voraciousness. Caught in the crossfire of beauty and the disgust of discarded trash, Schaap not only hopes to challenge the way we perceive beauty and attraction but champions mindful consumption—for the planet and future generations.
What was your thought process when you started on the artwork?
Bloom of life (the orchid) in contradiction with the vase made out of ocean plastics. The vase seems to peel off its layers and the diverse sizes of bottles are melted to one shape.
What signature elements have you incorporated into the artwork for Vogue Singapore?
Like in the rest of my work, I try to evoke an emotional response from my audience by creating a contradiction: a clash between initial aesthetic attraction and after a second look, repulsion and the realisation of the tragedy trash causes.
How would you describe your artwork for Vogue Singapore in three words?
The ugly truth.
What is one skill or habit that you have picked up during the pandemic?
What is one thing that you are thankful for, even in the midst of this global pandemic?
The hope that we will all start to realise that we need to become part of an eco – friendly society instead of a throwaway society.
As the world opens up, what is one thing that you are most looking forward to?
I hope we have changed and started to pay more respect to the environment.
Do you think art and creativity are essential today? Why or why not?
Repairing what you have is a form of creativity. Be creative with food and your groceries—when you don’t buy your groceries in single-use plastics, your choice is limited so you need to be more creative. Don’t buy new clothes but be creative with what you have. Creativity will help all of us to be more sustainable.