Georgie Malyon is a bad arse babe; found sipping coffee on the fly between floral deliveries or tinkering in her new creative space (and store) Green Point Studios in Grey Lynn. She has a dark witt, inspiring style and underlying love for flowers. She took this love and applied it to print photography.
One of the four florists we have collaborated with for our spring image project Primavera. We chat to Georgie about flowers, and art practice. We can’t help but be inspired by her style along the way….
What are you known for?
I guess I’m known for my art work. My works reflect my own take on flowers. (I’m a Florist and I make art involving floral arrangements with various processes.)
What drew you to art and flowers?
I would say my obsession with art and flowers started early in my life. I watched and learnt a lot from my mother who worked as a graphic designer in the 80s, an era when everything was done by hand without an iMac in sight. I would spend afternoons at her work and at her home studio, watching her at her old-school drawing board with 100s of marker pens, sheets of Letraset and every shape of ruler, set square and T square. My mum would take me to the art gallery to see shows and bought me books on artists and on crafty subjects that had taken my fancy that month or year. I was always encouraged to draw and to be creative, although I wouldn’t say I was pushed to make and create, it pretty much came naturally.
All I ever really wanted to do was make art.
One of my first flower memories was pressing pansies between the stacks of National Geographic’s in the front sunroom (which was my mums home studio). I see flowers as just another medium, like paint or pencils. I think of flowers in a different way, not just to be made into a bouquet for a vase. In saying that I still adore a classic bouquet in a beautiful vase ah the contradictions! Buts that’s all part of the creative process.
I was drawn to floristry by my stepsister Jane. She had her own little shop on the corner of St Kevin’s Arcade, and as a teenager I would hang out at the shop after school, drawing the flowers then taking home old roses to dry. I had a wall of dried roses which I had made in to a shrine, with skulls, vintage dolls and with a stack of incense and candles. I was certainly inspired by flowers and by age 17. I knew I wanted to be a florist.
There was no turning back, I was addicted to flowers.
Where do you take inspiration from for your floral designs?
When it comes to my art I take inspiration from artists that use flowers, not just fresh flowers but in other mediums. I look at different cultures and how they use flowers in daily life and especially as they relate to their cultural rituals. The idea is that flowers are not just pretty to look at but they have significance and purpose.
When it comes to making bouquets for a client or dealing with a client for a special event, I always go with my intuition and get a feeling for what is required by asking questions about the person who will be receiving them, or I find out what it is they want to achieve, not just what their favourite colour is. I like to cater to the clients’ needs.
Do you feel that there is a guiding philosophy behind your work?
To continue to make work that I want to see and quality flowers that I would want to receive.
What are some of your favourite flowers on the market now? What is your favoured type of arrangement?
I love phalaenopsis orchids for luxury and flowering Peiris aka Lily of the valley for texture.
When and why did you decide to start capturing flowers?
I have been taking photos and arranging flowers and for a long time, I have just always loved looking at beautiful and things and arranging my collections of curious to beautiful settings. I wanted to be able to share it will other people and see what I see.
In 2008 I started taking photos of my collection of animal skulls, religious statues and taxidermy surrounded in flowers inspired by the Day of the Dead and the alters that are made during the celebrations.
In 2010 I took an interest in making moulds, time my partner Tim worked in the film industry in art department and taught me to make moulds of skulls. This is where the mandala flat lay series came from. My friends really encouraged me to get my work out there. That’s when I got in touch with Elliot at endemicworld on Ponsonby Road. endemicworld specialise in art prints and I have been dealing with Elliot for over four years now.
As my work has evolved and the technical side of my work has got higher I have used other methods of making my art.
I don’t consider myself a photographer, rather my work is about the processes, about the installation and the concept. Floral art. The camera is the tool I need to capture the moment. My work is about the relationship people have with flowers and the rituals they use flowers for.
Where do you sell your limited-edition prints?
I sell them mainly through endemicworld gallery and store is located at 62 Ponsonby Road. I sell from on my own website georgiemalyon.com and in store at Greenpoint, 566 Great North Road, Grey Lynn. I also sell through The Vivian Gallery in Matakana. The Grey Place gallery in Grey Lynn have some limited editions available to view and purchase.
What has creating your prints led to?
It has led to solo exhibitions, collaborations and meeting other artists and florists and forming friendships. It opens conversations that you may not have had if there wasn’t, that connection people make when they like what you do. Making art inspires me to constantly think creatively and leads me to think about the next project. Which leads us in to the next question.
Congrats on the opening of Greenpoint studios; What is it like having your own store and studio?!
Thank you! Yeah, it’s been a process where I’m still learning, and it is a lot of hard work. I’m always thinking of the next thing to do to make the space interesting. I have loved meeting people in my new neighbourhood of Grey Lynn. It has been great connecting to the locals and their genuine support has meant the world to me. Also, I have some amazing friends and family who are helping me along the way! This is a friendly reminder to shop and support local and small businesses! I truly now know the value of this. The space is always evolving. I have flowers but also lots of interesting plants, Art Print a small selection of jewellery that I have designed and jewellery designed and made by Ami from Brimstone
Tell me about your creative process for our Primavera collab. Did it start from the handbag, or do you start with the flowers and then incorporate the handbag?
It started with the bags colour palette being navy, brass and brown tones. I decided to go the classic route and use the this as my guide. I used gold and navy-blue Spray paint, I painted some deep velvet red Colombian roses. Chocolate cymbidiums, dusky blue sea-holly for texture. Lots of lush foliage.
I probably took the brief too literal to make a bouquet in a bag, but sometime classic and elegant works but of course if you look closely there is a little twist.
Are you loving on your new Saben handbag?
Yes! It’s my constant companion. The perfect going to see a band, nabbing my can’t-live-without coffee, or going out for dinner. It is perfect to throw it over the shoulder chuck in your phone, keys wallet in and you’re off. I have just been on holiday in Bali and used it every day. The bag is so cute, that even a monkey tried to steal it. (Somewhat terrifying)
TO see more from Georgie follow her on Instagram @georgiemalyon and check out her new space @greenpoint.studio you can also shop her prints here: https://www.endemicworld.com/artists/georgie-malyon/
Georgie wears Camden and Matilda in portraits above.
We LOVE Georgie’s style, she also sells a collection of jewellery in her studio. Easy to see why her hand-candy is on point. Georgie wears: Company of strangers - Pawnshop Ring, Meadowlark -Thai Garnet Deco cocktail ring, Brimstone Jewellery - Black Sapphire Memento Mori ring
Outside of this shoot she wears Mae handbag in season-favourite python emboss black with guntmetal hardware.
Shop Georgie's edit below: