Today I’m speaking with two artists creating the most STUNNING of work: absolutely beautiful photographic art prints of floral arrangements.
Only one year since starting, and they’ve exhibited in Venice, while selling out of many limited edition prints.
Runa Kuru (who is originally from Iceland) and Holly Tong (from New Zealand) became close friends while waitressing together in 2002.
Now, 16 years on (and six children later!), they live in the sun-drenched, seaside town of Gisborne, New Zealand and have joined forces to produce a collection of artistic floral photography.
Runa is a photographer focusing on family shots, while Holly is a sought-after florist working predominantly on weddings and large events. She grew up on an organic orchard and flower farm, and was immersed in the flower industry from a young age.
For pocket money, my sister and I would wonder around our property as kids foraging from different trees to add to what was already being sent to the Flower Markets, we would send small green figs on their branches, autumn leaves, twisted kiwifruit vines, persimmons on branches – anything that looked interesting and was plentiful around the orchard and garden.
The two were inspired to preserve the inevitability of a flower’s short life, along with celebrate their shared love of the famous Dutch flower paintings of the 16th Century. And so, their dark, velvety first collection was born in July 2017!
So successful was this launch, that Runa and Holly have put their individual pursuits on hold to focus on their new partnership, which goes by the name, simply, of “Runa + Holly“.
Collection Two was released in late February this year, and has a more spring-like focus, with splashes of colour:
We feel there is a growing appreciation for flowers, the industry in general and the romance flowers bring to the home. There also seems to be a shift to include more colour into interiors. Our work has a modern feel, yet is classic and timeless, appealing as art that will grow with you and your home.
And wow – I just love the purples, pinks and blues that run through this collection, and the flowers look as though they are exploding with life. Each is printed with archival inks, on the most high-end, German made Hahnemühle 308gsm cotton rag paper.
A big recognition of the ladies’ work was being selected to exhibit at the prestigious international art prize Arte Laguna in Venice this year. Their piece Volucris was a finalist in the Photography Section for Arte Laguna’s 2018 honours. Pretty impressive for two friends foraying into a new space together!
So soak up all the beauty in the shots below and explore more for yourself over at runaandholly.com.
Images courtesy of Runa + Holly.