The Song of Flowers: Anne ten Donkelaar’s Art Blossoms

Dutch artist Anne ten Donkelaar creates floral art that combines both preserved and cutout flowers. The final piece (a mixture of collage art, sculpture, and installation), pays homage to forests and gardens—forever in bloom.

Born in 1979 and having graduated in 2007 from the Utrecht school of The Art (NL), with a degree in 3D Product Design, Donkelaar had a passion for all things nature from an early age.

Her creative process begins with secondhand books and walks in the forest, meadows, and flower markets of Utrecht. “I don’t start with an idea in my head or a sketch on paper,” she admitted in an interview with Flower Magazine. “I follow the flowers and the colors I’m working with.”

Her finds, and therefore, her materials, might include a damaged butterfly, a broken twig, a bumblebee, and some strangely grown weeds. The pieces themselves lead her work, inspiring her compositions and themes. By protecting her finds under glass, Donkelaar hopes to inspire other people to make up their own stories about them, rather than dictating her message herself.

“I love a flower with really long legs,” she notes. “It makes it more elegant somehow, almost as if it’s flying. I strip away all the leaves and let the flower stand out, stand tall.” Under her hands, weeds become poetry, nature seems to float mid-air, and a discarded twig finds new meaning.