Anne ten Donkelaar’s Art Is a Continuation of Nature

Anne ten Donkelaar’s art has a refined beauty to it. Inspired, as well as influenced, by nature itself, her art pieces (are they collages, sculptures, installations or something in between?) are composed of real flowers, the occasional preserved butterfly or bumblebee, and paper representations of nature that she finds in vintage books.

These materials are collected from a variety of sources: the flowers she grows in her garden, second-hand picture books, and butterflies from the botanical garden in Utrecht. The finished artworks are kept under glass, reminding of botanical specimens meant to be preserved.

“A damaged butterfly, a broken twig, a bumblebee, some strangely grown weeds: I find all these unique discoveries in my path and then take them home to my studio,” writes Donkelaar on her website. “Here, I take my time to explore the objects and try to work out how I can show each one to its best advantage.”

Being led by the materials themselves, she hopes to give her found objects and specimens a second life, inviting other people to imagine what this life can look like. Take a closer look: