Delicate Animal Portraits
Created From Things
Found In Nature
I'm always seeking creative people who do amazing things. Here is one of those people.
Inspired by the ancient and traditional Japanese art of flower arrangement—Ikebana—Montreal-based artist and photographer Raku Inoue creates colourful portraits of insects and other animals using flowers, twigs, leaves, and stems from his garden. Each and every one of them is unique as he chooses his materials according to the seasons and what nature offers during them.
“It all started when one day, it was very windy and the petals of the rose bush in my backyard fell to the ground. I picked those up and made my first floral sculpture: a rose petal beetle. I found the process to be so calming and therapeutic that I made this a creative exercise that I would do in the morning while drinking coffee. With time, this became my artistic identity,” the artist said.
His ongoing art series "Natura Insects" features a menagerie of lifelike butterflies, beetles, spiders, and even owls that have been crafted from bright and detailed flower arrangements. After Inoue carefully arranges them into floral sculptures, he then photographs them against a white background for a result that looks like display cases seen in natural history museums. When asked how long it takes to make one sculpture, the artist says: “It can take 20 minutes, or it can take a few weeks. That depends on the complexity of the sculpture. For more 3D projects, I need to construct a foam core as a base structure. This takes time.”
While studying the art of ikebana, the artist learned to respect nature and utilize seasonal materials. For his works, he only uses materials which are most abundant rather than picking what looks most attractive. For example, after a rain, he would collect petals that had fallen to the ground rather than searching for flowers still connected to the tree or stem. “I love nature, so working with materials that represent that is pleasant and meaningful. It’s all about respecting the materials and their ephemerality. I quickly learned that nothing is forever, especially in nature.”
Now, let's check out some more of this amazing work.
Clancy's comment: Gob smacking stuff! Thank you, Raku. Love ya work!