New venture: Amanda Temple and Nikki Begg with bunches of wild flowers. *Photo supplied
New venture: Amanda Temple and Nikki Begg with bunches of wild flowers. *Photo supplied

Nikki Begg and I have spent hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hours working together over the past four months. 

For over a decade Nikki has dreamed of having a flower shop and I’ve always wanted somewhere beautiful to hang my artwork. All of our hard work has paid off and Petals opens its doors this Saturday.

With custom-built work benches and a fridge filled with unusual blooms, the space is perfect for us to work our magic.

At the front of the shop is a gallery space that will feature an ever-changing collection of vases, objets d’art and some of my mixed media pieces, matted photographs on metallic paper and iridescent notecards. 

For the shop opening, however, Nikki and I thought it would be interesting to have a group exhibition. The artists all came to Petals, chose their flowers and created pieces inspired by the blooms they selected.

Spectacular

My piece features an anemone, which has become my favourite flower. Every bunch that arrives is more spectacular than the last. Some have variegated petals, some are a single pure colour, some are completely symmetrical and others are wonderfully wild and wiggly. The canvas is covered with silver leaf, the photograph is then printed and certain areas then painted. It shimmers as the viewer moves by. I have become enamoured with printing my images on metal surfaces.

Antoine Hunt submitted a series of digital cyanotypes. I have long been a fan of Antoine’s work. Particularly his cyanotypes. There is a stunning simplicity to them — the intensity of the blue and the clarity of his compositions are incredibly powerful. 

Jon Faulkner is a talented potter who creates an array of pieces at his Dockyard studio. From vases and jugs to funky teapots and sugar bowls, plates and napkin rings. For one particular vase he has incorporated flecks of Heineken glass and rust from a Victorian canon.  

Joy Blackburne not only created a piece for the exhibition, but she was also on hand to assist with the shop preparations. 

A few summers ago, I shared a table at Harbour Nights with Alexandra Mosher. I would spend most of the evening untangling chains and sorting through gemstones. Playing with the tiny, shiny objects provided me endless entertainment. Meanwhile, Alexandra would engage the passers by, and she too would sparkle as she shared her passion for her art. She now has a gallery of her own in the Washington Mall. 

Sacha Blackburne created a portrait of her children. She adores fairytales and has been incorporating the magic of these stories into her shoots. 

Nikki Murray-Mason and I became friends twenty years ago while working together at Bermuda Homes and Gardens magazine. We would devise all sorts of fabulous pieces for the magazine and had a grand time putting together a publication that we hoped inspired people to create. She is still inspiring people to create — not only does she make mosaic pieces, she also holds classes to help others make something spectacular.

Liz Andrade-Arnold began her career a wedding photographer. Now she incorporates photography into her mixed media pieces. Liz took home a beautiful bunch of white fringe tipped tulips. She photographed the flowers and created two pieces using the photographs as a base then layering them with various media — and even included the tissue that the flowers had been wrapped in.

There are also many other beautiful floral-inspired pieces on display. An oil painting by Rhona Emmerson and Kathy Zuill, pottery by Aubry Hardy, a photograph on canvas by Kelly Hunt, iPad art on canvas by Stephen West, and handbags by Lynn Wahl. 

Come by and have a peek, the space really is lovely. 

A lady came in on Monday and proclaimed that we needed a sofa. That the space is so beautiful and tranquil that she’d like to stop in regularly for a cup of tea. The sofa is actually on its way, so there will be somewhere comfy to sit and admire the artwork or to watch while the designers gather together your hand-selected blooms.” 

Petals is at 19 Queen St. Open from Mon to Sat, 9:30am – 5:30pm and as the fresh flowers arrive on Weds, they have also decided to stay open until 8pm for Harbour Nights.