Flower Vases Exploring The Vanitas Motif

For her ‘Ashes’ series, German designer Birgit Severin created a collection of vases exploring the Vanitas motif.

“Flowers and fruit are symbols of beauty, youth and pleasure. Simultaneously, in their decay, they become reminders of life’s brevity and the inevitability of death.” Inspired by Flemish floral paintings, Severin designed delicate vases in various shapes that, together, depict the process of withering. Created using a combination of spin casting and the latest 3D-printing technology, the pieces were constructed from rubber, and feature a shimmering black surface covered with dots that look like small jewels. Severin, whose background is in psychology, now creates design objects within a bigger narrative, exploring topics such as “transformation, identification and belonging”.

In a statement about the series, Severin says: “Flowers and fruit are symbols of beauty, youth and pleasure. Simultaneously, in their decay, they become reminders of life’s brevity and the inevitability of death. The expressive power of withering was commonly used to represent the idea of Vanitas in art, particularly in Flemish painting. The ‘Ashes’ series reinterprets this concept for the context of the modern household, acknowledging both beauty and transience of life.” For more vases, take a look at our shop!

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All images © Birgit Severin

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