Wild, ABSTRACT, sculptural DESIGN that breaths the primal interplay of flora and fauna. LOIHI (low-ee-hee) is named for the Hawaiian undersea volcano, a place of new earth, rawness and simplicity. Offerings include floral installations, arrangements, prop styling and art direction for editorial, brands, weddings and more. working across new england - montreal, boston, new york + all the woods between.
the vision and work of linnaea meyer
surrealism, minimalism, freakebana
Interview with Laura Drouet in preparation for an Elle Decor Italia article, March 2018 - http://www.elledecor.it/en/design/contemporary-flower-bouquets
You have a background in science. How did you come to floristry?
My medium is now flowers, but I've always had a hand in studying the natural world. Five years ago I was researching ocean acidification on the Aeolian Island, Vulcano, totally overcome with the magnificent beauty of such an extreme environment among wind, volcanism, and the encompassing sea. I loved the field work, but felt called to something more creative. Through a position at Harvard Art Museums I was inspired to take on my own practice and began working with florist Caroline O'Donnell of Wildfolk. She gave so much trust which forced me to be experimental, and taught me to use and appreciate oddities in form.
Your compositions somehow carry the taste of the desert. How do natural elements inspire your floral arrangements?
I see floristry as storied sculpture, pieces that have lives and shapes related to more than their immediate surroundings. I see them atmospherically, geophysically - and I that's what I try to translate. The name LOIHI comes from the Hawaiian undersea volcano; eventually it will become a new island, a place of new earth. I imagine charcoal grey volcanic rock, with nothing but sea swells and one lone plant emerging. This seeming barrenness and purity of deserted landscapes appeals to me. Deserts give rest, from over stimulation and needless busyness. The warmth in colors, rigidity of canyons and resilient exchange of life and death are all elements I try to incorporate. Sometimes it looks like sandy toned weeds, other times it's shooting the work in harsh light.
Your favourite flower?
At the moment I'm in awe of the white fawn lily - it's a local native that is simultaneously delicate in antique tones and exotic with back-bending petals. I'm also drawn to the drama of lady slipper orchids, with painted, shiny faces and tendency towards hairy stems. My name is actually a flower as well (Linnaea borealis), a tiny little woodland gem that also has hairy stems. It is illusive though and I have yet to lay eyes on it in the wild.
What's your idea of a perfect bouquet? How did it evolve over time?
I always loved the look of overgrown massive bouquets and arrangements, and still do, but I'm now investigating different ways to simplify, either by using fewer varieties of flowers or actually pairing down the volume. I think this shift has been out of a growing feeling that every day is so complex and busy, it just relieves anxiety to have clean, minimal design. It does for me.
A floral trend you are particularly fond of?
There is a feeling of nostalgia floating around. Things dreamt, imagined, fantasized. It looks surreal, and is sometimes in the shape of the arrangement, the disparate color palette, or the photographic style of the flowers. I love that floristry is morphing into art for so many, as it is for me a window that sees sculpture, geography, mineral and botanical all in one place.
Where are your botanicals coming from?
The West Coast (of the US) is so abundant. There are typically flowers available year round from growers between California and Oregon at the flower markets. I like to use surprising combinations -- combining old and seemingly rotting foliage from weeks previous, or my garden, with vibrant new young things.