The tallest tree fern in New Zealand, the Black Tree Fern, or Mamaku, graces the forest canopy with ancient grace and giant splendour. With a bruised black trunk that seems covered in fish scales and limbs thicker than a human arm, the ferns seem truly to have come from mythical times, and their magical, drooping canopy was the genesis for these dark, visceral pieces.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH LYZADIE RENAULT:
1. Why were you inspired by the Black Tree Fern? I find them utterly majestic. They transport me, make me feel like I’m in prehistoric times where any moment a dinosaur will come stumbling into view. Their form too is mesmerising. I find the black branches very beautiful in a surreal way – like they are part of an animal or insect. Gazing at them I often half expect them to start walking or moving like the black legs of an insect. It’s a creepy but very powerful sensation.
Making the collection it was this transformative quality, and the contrast of their physical make up that inspired me to design these pieces. The pattern of the canopy above the New Zealand bush is so light and elegant and it seems to contrast with the strong branches. I love that contrast. Solid and black to light and thin.