The Artistic Journey of Joe Horner, aka Flower Blocks
Joe Horner, also known as Flower Blocks, is a UK-based photographer and visual artist renowned for his vibrant and captivating floral compositions. Influenced by his upbringing, Joe’s artistic journey is rooted in the guidance of his mother, an avid gardener, who encouraged him to explore the unconventional and observe the reactions of his subjects. Her support instilled in him a love for the art of creation and the confidence to venture into uncharted territories.
Horner’s work delicately navigates the juxtaposition between the natural beauty of flowers and the harsh realities of their surroundings. His approach involves presenting them in surreal and unexpected ways, inviting viewers to ponder the interconnectedness of all things. Beyond aesthetics, Joe Horner’s artistic practice serves as a deeply personal and therapeutic outlet. Holding a Fine Art degree from Chelsea School of Art, he boasts a decorated career with prestigious awards like Portrait of Britain, Palm Awards, and Portrait of Humanity.
Today’s interview features Joe Horner, known as Flower Blocks, who is a renowned photographer and spectacular artist. We are so delighted to speak with you about all things flowery and ethereal. Could you describe to us how your vivid imagery may appeal to the five senses? Everything about your art feels so tangibly delicious and detailed that it feels like one can just reach out to feel each petal!
Hello, thank you for having me. I suppose my work is all about the senses, firstly the visuals, but I feel you can’t avoid letting all your other senses get involved. Flowers have such a connection with our memories; seeing a certain flower can take us back to the smell of it and a memory associated with it. For me, I can’t see a sweet pea without thinking of my mum’s garden.
When it comes to working with flowers specifically, do you find yourself gravitating more towards live flowers over dried ones? What has been your experience with finding the right flowers that will bend to your artistic will?
I work with live flowers as I want to see their relationship with the elements I introduce them to in my art. My creations are a celebration of the seasons, a reflection of each time of year. I take to the wilds of my local area, gathering flowers to incorporate into my work. However, when commissioned to create a specific piece, I am more than willing to venture out and source the perfect ingredients to bring the vision to life.
Flowers are seen all throughout nature in various environments. What is it about arranging them in high concentration that elevates their organic form to a whole new level? The way you configure the subjects in each piece is so fascinating and it really accentuates the raw beauty of this naturally occurring phenomenon we see everyday.
I want to see the flowers in unusual and surreal forms that we would never see. I think high concentration allows for a focused exploration of their inherent beauty. It’s a way of magnifying the organic form, drawing attention to the captivating nuances of a phenomenon we encounter daily but may not fully appreciate.
Has a certain project or work taken you to far places? Or did you ever find yourself in an especially unique circumstance? We would love to hear about any riveting stories you may have had while compiling your gorgeous artwork.
It’s funny; I have created art for people/brands all over the world, but in this day and age with the interest and social media, I’ve been able to do it from here. I wanted to say I have lots of exciting stories, but mostly it’s just me and my dog out and about collecting flowers and creating from my studio.
What do flowers symbolize to you? Do they represent an inner road to connecting with the earth? Are they an expression? Tell us what makes them significant to humankind.
Flowers are everything. They connect us and everything around us; they symbolize a profound connection with nature and serve as a visual language.
How do you conceptualize a particular piece? We would love to know more about your process and how you know when a piece is fully complete.
I try to approach my work with a free-spirited, go-with-the-flow attitude, allowing the natural beauty of the flowers to guide me in my artistic process.
What has been a humbling moment for you in your career so far? How has that moment impacted the way you currently work?
Having my art in galleries of course is a big thing for me. But, I think the most humbling thing is being able to make a career out of something I’m passionate about. I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was a kid. That’s pretty humbling to me.
If you could impart some wise words to the audience about fostering creativity and the best way to apply it, what would those words be? Are these words you live by?
No idea is too small or big. I started my current artist practice 5 years ago when I saw I had written “Freeze Some Flowers” in my notebook.
Joe Horner website: www.joehorner.co.uk