Metamorphosis of the Thistle

Amber Meekel

Keywords: Nature, Urbanisation, Reunition

Internship: Studio Bas Koopmans
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In Metamorphosis of the Thistle, The Polarisation between Urban and Rural Landscapes, Amber uses her childhood memories and current experiences of both urban and rural environments as a crucial starting point for this work. Stemming from these influences, the work explores the connection between her urban upbringing and her visits to her farmer relatives in rural landscapes. The garden serves as a symbol for this bond—acting as a unifying force and a source of belonging. 

With its intricate ornamental patterns, this installation is a manifestation of the conversations shared between Amber and her family, encompassing diverse landscapes and our relationships with each other and the natural environment. The installation’s knitworks, incorporating plants from her family's garden, form a Memorial Garden. A parallel publication explores the research and conversations in-depth.

Searching for familiarity, with both nature and each other, Amber and her family engage in dialogue, breaking through metaphorical barriers represented by thistles. These thistles, simultaneously protecting and excluding, proliferate in areas disrupted by urbanisation, industrialisation, and cultivation. By dismantling these barriers, open pathways for communication are created, fostering a more inclusive and interconnected relationship between nature and humanity.

Amber is a Dutch designer based in Leiden. Over the past years she has developed herself as a graphic designer working on publications, printmaking, and autonomous work. Her practice stems from a fascination with patterns and rhythms, both artificial and natural. Intrigued by the contrast and interconnection  between the physical and the digital, the artificial and the natural, she works between the themes of identity, the natural environment, and the digital realm.