Ana's Thought: "Artist, your hardest work is your greatest masterpiece."
Ana Tzarev beside one of the Love & Peace sculptures in the production facility.
In my years as an artist, I have observed that nature is the finest craftsman. Her flowers shoot forth from soil and sway in the breeze effortlessly, the product of such intelligent design. How easily we take for granted the wonder of creation, the hidden systems that keep the world in motion! My appreciation for nature's incredible intricacies has never been stronger than when I first made my vision of Love & Peace, my ongoing sculptural campaign, into a reality.
Before a single petal could open in the first monumental poppy, its seed needed to germinate in my mind. The idea to create a striking symbol from a familiar flower took shape several years ago, brought on by a life of witnessing the way flowers speak of joy to people across the world. I took this idea and translated it into small sculptures in wax and clay. I finessed the details, envisioning how it would appear in greater scale - though these models were much larger than the blooms in my garden, they had quite a way to grow!
It was clear to me that the road to creating these sculptures was marked with complexity. It was a project unlike any I had undertaken before. Fiberglass seemed the perfect material for a work both resilient and eye-catching, and so it was recommended to me that the process of construction be a collaborative effort with Thailand's finest yacht builders. The team with whom I worked over the course of months was skilled beyond compare, true experts of their craft and, like me, driven by perfection. It would be impossible to tell they had never made a sculpture - through long, hot days in the fabrication studio, we brought the flower to life together.
To form the petals' sloping curves, they were first carved out from foam before a cast of each was created. Hours and hours were spent polishing the casts into immaculate smoothness, which would allow the fiberglass to bond to its surface. In all, seven separate pieces fit together to create the flower before the shining black stamens are placed in the center. The exhibition of each sculpture requires careful reassembly. To witness the process of the flower coming together is breathtaking.
Assembly of the Love & Peace flower on Park Lane, London.
From idea to completion, the first Love & Peace flower took over two years to be born - a time during which I learned so much. The creation of this poppy revealed to me how science and art correspond, for without the technical expertise of my team, the flower would be nothing but fantasy, a beautiful mirage in my mind. Working with a multilingual crew, I saw how critical communication is to the success of a project. Most importantly, I learned that you should never let the uncertainties of the unknown change the message in your heart. From a single seed - brought from the shade of doubt into the light of hope - a worldwide campaign for Love & Peace was born.
Artists, you are indomitable; within you is the power to bring dreams into the world as tangible truths. Let your unique voice resound when your brush meets the canvas... let the world see a new creation of joy and peace!
Ana Tzarev at the premiere of her first Love sculpture. Saatchi Gallery, London.
To learn more about the artist and her global Love & Peace Campaign, visit www.lovepeaceflower.com.