Amandine Cheveau “Qualities of Life” The art of expressing with flowers
For aeyde’s “Qualities of Life” series, we sat down with six women who inspire us with their unique views on work, life, and finding balance. In Part Six, we sat down with floral artist Amandine Cheveau, 38, who uses flowers to create installations that are informed by art history, graphic design, and fashion. Raised in Paris, Amandine moved to Berlin in 2012 where she met her business partner Jean-Christian Pullin. They co-founded Anatomie Fleur, a floral design studio that aims to challenge conventions around floristry. We spoke to Amandine about flowers as vehicles for expression, starting her own business, and connecting with nature’s rhythms. Meet Amandine Cheveau.
Images: Julia Sellmann
Words: Angela Waters
“At the end of the day, flowers are not about floristry for me. I use flowers as an artistic tool. It is how I choose to express myself.”
aeyde: How would you describe yourself?
Amandine Cheveau: I am quite reserved, melancholic, and very introverted. I need a lot of time for myself to think and read. I like to be alone but the moment I actually feel lonely is surrounded by a lot of people. I am often my best company because that is when I can let my internal world unfold.
a: How did you get into floristry?
AC: I was working as a graphic designer but I was missing the textural feeling that I had with fashion. I thought that flowers might combine these different elements. They have so much history, every flower represents something, in the biblical sense, but there are always different interpretations. It’s about composition, which is something that is very important in graphic design that I could translate into my work with flowers.
At the end of the day, flowers are not about floristry for me. I use flowers as an artistic tool. It is how I choose to express myself. I think that I am someone who can change the perspective that people have on flowers. They are always connected to some stigma of domestication and decoration—I wanted to show that you could cross borders and present something much deeper than pretty, cute things.
“I’m only good with cut flowers. I’m dealing with a material that is basically dying between my hands and that is a state that really touches me because I’m witnessing a process of decay.”
a: How did you decide to go into business for yourself?
AC: I feel like I did it because I wanted to shape the company the way I wanted to. Floristry has been presented in a certain way for a very long time and I wanted to change the look on this work. I wanted to bring something different and the only way I could do that was basically to create my own company.
a: As a florist, are you good with plants?
AC: No. It’s a shame, because everyone expects me to be good with plants, but I’m only good with cut flowers. I’m dealing with a material that is basically dying between my hands and that is a state that really touches me because I’m witnessing a process of decay. Of course, I like plants and I wish I could be good with them, but I’m not really.
a: What makes something ‘quality’ to you?
AC: There is quality in what we produce and quality in what we consume. But I think that quality is also linked with time. I think that any craft needs time to develop and that it’s important we connect with essential things—realign with nature and its cycles. I think we should go back to a slower way of life.
a: What emotional qualities are important to you?
AC: I like kindness, I know it sounds cheesy but I think it is my priority. But I also like a good dry sense of humor as well as tolerance and flexibility.