"Various stems of curly allium become obscured into one, inspired by the small holes along the side of the vase that hold them." - Sophia Moreno-Brunge
BOND is an exhibition by SIZED in partnership with Dries Van Noten, inspired by the Japanese art of Ikebana. Sophia Moreno-Bunge is the exhibition's floral designer. She is the founder of ISA ISA, a Los Angeles based floral design studio, which utilizes seasonal, often local and foraged flowers, branches, pods, and fruits to create emotive, weird, and wonderfully inspired environments. We caught up with Sophia to learn more about her creative process and what inspires her.
Hi Sophia, can you please introduce yourself?
I am a floral designer and artist based in Los Angeles. ISA ISA, the name of my floral company is named after my two Argentine grandmother’s – both Isabel’s. My work is inspired by my upbringing in both Los Angeles and Argentina.
When did you begin working with flowers?
I began working with flowers in 2012. I was living in New York City, working for a sculptor, missing nature and wanting to work with it in some way. I found a very special sculptor-turned-florist who calls herself a “butcher of flowers, “ and learned everything I could from her. We worked very seasonally; I really enjoyed learning the language of each season, and loved that I began seeing and understanding the world through these changing and temporal cycles.
What's your typical creative process?
It really depends on the project. I am often working in different spaces and figuring out the story of the space and the plant materials, and how they interact and engage – often through textures, colors, and shapes. I am very inspired by my seasonal surroundings whenever I am working. Often, the materials guide my inspiration, and while they are meant to compliment to the space, they often also really stand out – highlighting the materials we use.
How did your approach differ for this exhibition?
The work I created for this exhibition was less about the materials, and is focused more precisely on the meeting of the material and the objects – much more so than usual. The approach and the result felt more subtle.
Have there been any takeaways - lessons or methods learned?
I found that for this project, less was more; I brought in graphic materials we see everyday in LA - palms, dry palm husks, dry cucumber vine pods; the dry materials became another texture, relating in color and feel to some of the other pieces in the exhibition. My favorite moments are the ones that really play with the objects and our perception.
I was amused by they way a giant palm, resting horizontally across a large bowl, is able to hold itself up precariously with its frond petals. The overall visual gesture feels sharp and casual, but the mechanics beyond that are quite delicate – it could fall flat at any moment; I like this juxtaposition. I like that the graphic nature of the palm becomes softer by resting it instead of using it upright in a vase.