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Marcin Rusak: Still Lifes

Grandson and son of Warsaw flower growers, Marcin Rusak naturally draws his sources from plants, which he incorporates into his creations in a narrative way. And it is in aging or decomposing materials that the designer is particularly interested. In homage to two generations of flower growers, but also because the family’s professional history stops at his own, Marcin feels the need to transcribe this decomposed past. Now based in England, he patiently transforms flowers and leaves into exceptional works of art.

The family history of more than a hundred years stopped at my birth. The memory of abandoned greenhouses, industrial materials like rusty metal or broken glass, abandoned elements like zinc planters, pumps and other machines with unknown functions gave me the impression of an almost ghostly landscape. » This landscape is now very much alive in the work of Marcin Rusak. He initially collected plants thrown away from a London flower market, which he reprocessed into sculpture or furniture, denouncing overconsumption in passing. His work bears witness to the obsession that human beings have for nature, which they use as a decorative element, in reference to floral motifs for example, but without surrounding themselves with living elements. In his own way, Marcin prolongs the life of these discarded natural flowers, by integrating them into his works which question temporality. “ I use them as a support to talk about consumption. By suspending them in resin, I allow the material to retain their authentic qualities. »

Flora Coffee Table / Bronze ©Mathijs Labadie
Flora Monolith 190 © Kasia Bielska

Marcin uses two techniques to freeze plants. The Flora Temporaria collection consists of immersing them entirely in resin, which has the result of creating a depth reminiscent of those of the Flemish still lifes of the seventeenth century. For Flora Perma , only the cross section of the plant is used, like the dissection sections. This technique is a form of snub to textiles with floral motifs that are found in particular in decoration. Here, real flowers are used as decoration, but treated as a fabric in its own right which is covered with resin.

Flora Coffee Table / Bronze ©Mathijs Labadie

Several colors of resin offer different readings. The black resin enhances the almost dramatic contrasts between the material in which the flowers are frozen and the plant itself. “ They appear as veins or fossils that create a stone-like quality. » Conversely, the milky resin makes these still lifes more romantic. Sideboards, screens, tables and other wall panels result from the logic of their creator, that of giving them meaning by using organic matter to make them functional and aesthetic pieces.

©Mathijs Labadie
Flora lamp ©Mathijs Labadie

Like an archaeologist, Marcin Rusak draws on the traces of the past but also on the revaluation of the natural processes of degradation, a way perhaps of drawing a parallel with a certain obsolescence of human beings…

Cecile Papapietro-Matsuda