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VAMP MAGAZINE – MAY 2021

THE EARTH ISSUE

P.28

CATCHING MOMENTS

[WANDERLUST] Creative duo Samuel Geals and Loic Williams create a story of two guys in a silent city with nowhere to go. Exploring London’s hidden streets, reconnecting with it’s architecture and it’s views of the shapely skylines from the River Thames. With a romantic and dreamy light, the city becomes a refound source of inspiration to restore their passion for ‘Wanderlust’. Featuring clothing by Tigha.

++++ 013. STYLE FILE ‘S/S 21 > 042. TIME TO NUNCHI > 044. CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS > 046. SAND DUNES, + JUNGLE VIEWS ON THE MEXICAN RIVIERA > 058. MY INDOOR–JUNGLE > 062. JOHN DYER: DEPICTING THE AMAZONIAN SPIRIT > 072. SKINCARE: SUN KISSED ++++


016. ‘WANDERLUST’ Creative duo Samuel Geals and Loic Williams create a story of two guys in a silent city with nowhere to go. Exploring London’s hidden streets, reconnecting with it’s architecture and it’s views of the shapely skylines from the River Thames. With a romantic and dreamy light, the city becomes a refound source of inspiration to restore their passion for ‘Wanderlust’. Featuring clothing by Tigha.

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Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is prohibited.All rights reserved. Dates, information and prices are believed to be correct at the time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. Neither the editor nor the publisher accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. While we endeavour to ensure that the organisations and firms mentioned are reputable. The editor can give no guarantee that they will fulfill their obligations under all circumstances. Copyright 2021

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CONTENTS

No negativity, Just creativity and Inspiration on every page! Hello, spring! We finally made it through the long months of winter, and I sure am glad to see a new season rear its head. We are super hyped to kick start our firstever monthly digital edition, and don’t worry; we still have print issues lined up in the coming months. Vamp as ever is bursting with features, interviews and creativity with only the best of the best. Who’s feeling green-fingered? Check out all about Shelley Caruana and her viral success with creating an indoor jungle (So jealous I cannot keep anything alive). The primary focus of this edition is planet earth and all things in it, from products to sensational and dreamy destinations. (Check out our architecture feature) and get adding to your bucket list. Let’s take a moment to think about our surroundings and focus on being present in the moment. At Vamp, we know things aren’t easy right now, but I’m going to close off with a quote from Miranda Kerr’s very aptly titled book Treasure yourself, “may you welcome every effort, every struggle and every challenge” the coming months throw at you, we believe in you!

Editor Dayna Camilleri Clark Creative Director / Design Chris Psaila Photogrpahers: Lisa Paarvio Samuel Geals Contributors John Dyer Lisa Paarvio Loic Williams Productora Architects Samuel Geals Shelley Caruana

Sales: Sam Psaila 7788 0300 / vampmagmalta@gmail.com

013. STYLE FILE This season brings beach vibes into our wardrobes 028. CATCHING MOMENTS We caught up with Lisa Paarvio to find out more about her nomadic lifestyle in combination with her insane talent for photography 042. NOW IS THE TIME TO NUNCHI Dayne Clarke dives into Nunchi, the secret to happiness

062. ART: DEPICTING THE AMAZONIAN SPIRIT John Dyre is renowned for his prowess at capturing the world’s most remote environ- ments and their inhabitants. Dayna Camilleri Clarke caught up with John, to discuss his creative journey 072. WOMEN: SUN KISSED This summer’s skincare essentials for glowing radiant skin and scents of spring

044. CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS Our Spring top picks to help brighten up your home and your spirit 046. TRAVEL: SAND DUNES AND JUNGLE VIEWS If you have ever dreamed of the perfect luxurious beach pad, look no further at the multi-awardwinning Bautista House designed by re- nowned architects PRODUCTORA 058. MY INDOOR JUNGLE Dayna Camilleri Clarke caught up with Shelley, to discover how she’s become an international Instagram success on all things leafy

Vitra Girard Bird | By Alexander Girard, 1945 Although its features are reduced to a minimum, the archaic-looking Girard Bird by Alexander Girard is clearly recognisable as an avian creature. Ideal as a small decoration or as a book holder, it is made from solid maple wood sourced in France and can stand on its feet or tail. Available from Vitra at Vivendo, Mdina Road, Qormi, QRM9011. Follow on Instagram @vivendoprojects

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NEWS

TISLIMA 100% SILK SCARF TISLIMA ~ Greeting you from Malta’s doors, windows and balconies! This Scarf in 100% Silk features an original design by Stephanie Borg® which is inspired by elements seen on local wooden apertures traditionally painted in the red, green and blue colours that bring them to life. TISLIMA combines luxury with heritage, the softness of silk with timeless fashion. TISLIMA is available as a Limited Edition of 200 pieces only, size 100cm x 100cm. Be exclusive ~ order yours today or gift it to someone who deserves it!

VIVI vivi thick rope chain necklace from €39-€58 vivi box chain necklace from €63-€92 https://vivijewellery.com/

[ UPDATES ] LA BELLE LE PARFUM In Gaultier’s Garden, where all sins are permitted, the new original woman, La Belle Le Parfum, heightens her seductiveness with addictive sensuality. Under the scintillating sun within this dense vegetation, this lusciously intense oriental Eau de Parfum intoxicates the senses with elegance.

INVICTUS STORY An extreme Eau de Parfum, a shock of a scent. In an intense standoff, two forces stand head to head: freshness and intensity. A clash between piercing freshness and deep strength. Paco Rabanne unveils a new fresh oriental: power brought to a new level.  

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Say hello to the NEW Technogym Bike. Your brand new multi-content professional home bike with access to unlimited workouts and your favourite entertainment. Choose from a wide selection of trainer-led workouts sessions designed around your objectives. Access live and on-demand classes by fitness trainers from top studios around the world. Explore off-bike total body workouts, breath-taking virtual outdoor training and your favourite entertainment content.

Vivendo, Mdina Road, Qormi QRM 9011 T. 2223 1000 E. wellness@vivendo.mt

technogym.com


STYLE FILE

CK swim shorts €67

Tommy Hilfiger Unisex flag towel €59.95

[ BRING ON THE BEACH! ]

The hype for summer is being felt on a massive scale this year, are you ready?

Tommy Jeans Canvas backpack €99.90

Calvin Klein Jeans Pink tie-dye t-shirt dress €89.90

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TOP TIPPLES

STEP INTO

The warmer months are upon us, and what better way to celebrate creating new memories with friends than a refreshing tipple. These summer scorchers ranging from crisp cool wines to Wimbledon classic, Pimms will have you covered. Just hand over the strawberries and cream.

TO TALES OF BRIGHTER DAYS AND ONES TO COME… Move on from the lighter drinks and the party tricks into some serious reminiscing spurred on by this intense Barone Ricasoli Brolio Chianti Classico. With its feverish ruby red colour, hints of flowers and red fruit aromas it will stir forth some great stories. The palate is rich, with smooth tannins and well-balanced acidity. The savoury notes are typical of the terroir of Brolio and a great wine to move into as your meal progresses. Bottles at €17.54

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TICKLE THEM PINK…. Gordons Pink Gin is the perfect aperitif for these sunny spring days. Inspired by an original Gordon’s recipe from the 1880s, Gordon’s Pink is perfectly crafted to balance the refreshing taste of Gordon’s with the natural sweetness of raspberries and strawberries, with the tang of redcurrant served up in a unique blushing tone. Made using only natural fruit flavours to guarantee the highest quality, real berry taste. Mix with premium tonic and garnish with strawberries to enjoy to the full. Available at the very reasonable price of €10.50


TOP TIPPLES

O SPRING!

SIP TO SUNNIER DAYS… PIMM’S No. 1 is the perfect drink for sharing, virtually or outdoors, making every occasion extra special and deliciously memorable. Take a jug, or long drinking glass, and fill it with ice. Mix one part PIMM’S No.1 with three parts chilled lemonade. Then add some mint, cucumber, orange and strawberries - and enjoy. Start sipping at €11.20

START OFF CLASSY…. Get your taste buds pumping by tickling them with some delightful bubbles courtesy of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label. This Champagne manages to reconcile two opposing factors; strength and silkiness, and to hold them in perfect balance with aromatic intensity and freshness. This unique quality satisfies any palate and makes it ideal as an aperitif, or as the perfect Champagne to accompany a meal. Currently retailing at €54.67

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STYLE FILE

[WANDERLUST]

Photography, Production and Retouching - Samuel Geals Art Direction, Production and Styling - Loic Williams Models - Simondo and Loic Williams Clothing - Tigha Hair and Make Up - Becky Howie Assistant - Jack Redgate Location - Strand, London Clothing from: https://tigha.com/de-en 016

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CATCH MOME

INTERVIEW

Interview: Lisa Paarvio

VAMP CAUGHT UP WITH LISA TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HER NOMADIC LIFESTYLE IN COMBINATION WITH HER PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY.

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HING ENTS

INTERVIEW

L

isa Paarvio is a world-class photographer and a self-described “young soul”, travelling the world and catching moments. Her work takes her to places many of us could only dream of experiencing, endless mountain ranges, wild oceans and acres of untouched lands- not to mention stumbling across plenty of wildlife.

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INTERVIEW

[ ...“I HAD LOST THE ONE THING I LOVED DOING THE MOST, AND I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO OR IN WHAT DIRECTION TO HEAD NEXT”... ]

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INTERVIEW

When did your artistic journey begin? I started later than many might think. It’s not one of those textbook photographer love stories that many can tell. I can’t say that my love for photography started when my grandpa gave me a camera when I was a little girl. My story is a little different. I ended up being a photographer by complete chance. When I was 19, halfway through my studies to be a sports physiotherapist, I found myself feeling lost; I had to quit studying from one day to another, due to a chronic skin disease.

At this point, I had lost the one thing I loved doing the most, and I didn’t know what to do or in what direction to head next. But there was a hidden talent and a burning passion inside of me, one I had neglected over the years, my creativity. I have this budding creative talent deep inside of me; drawing, painting, or even creating sculptures. I feel it is something I am blessed to have. On the path to adulthood, my creativity became lost along the way, until the moment I found myself searching for the next step after leaving that first course.

So, I wouldn’t have to wait for another year I began looking at other options quite hastily. That’s the moment when my mother came to me and said: “just get back to what you can do best girl. Use your creative talents. Be creative”. I was never into photography beforehand. I never owned a camera nor did my family. But I came across an advert by accident that caught my attention. “Study photography”. So, I just decided to give it a shot. And what can I say? It ended up in a lifetime love story. >>

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INTERVIEW

[ ...“I AM A SO-CALLED “REAL PICTURE THINKER”, A PERSON WHO USES VISUAL THINKING ALMOST TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHER KINDS OF THINKING”... ]

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INTERVIEW

What inspires you? In a word, nature. The simple primary life forms and the cycle of nature. The sun, the moon, how their natural light dances through the hills, the trees and waves of the ocean. How the movement of the clouds and the wind always create new shades and light reflects on the ground or surface of the water. I am entirely inspired by nature. The simple yet complicated way it works. How would you describe your style? I would tend to say my style of shooting is very natural. I am not a fan of staging scenarios, nor am I a heavy image editor. I love to show the natural beauty of things. Use what nature or the situation provides me, rather than trying to create false or surreal scenarios. Can you describe your creative process? My creative process for a photo-shoot is pretty simple, and over the years, it’s become automatic. Based on the client brief and their brand language, my thoughts

pretty quickly guide me to the exact style and image-look I am aiming to achieve. I am a so-called “real picture thinker”, a person who uses visual thinking almost to the exclusion of other kinds of thinking. So, in the whole process of discussing the needs of my clients, I naturally and continuously create images in my mind. These are pretty much imprinted, and once I get to shoot, it just flows all pretty naturally since I have exactly the picture in mind. What keeps driving you forward in your artistic journey? I guess it is the hunger to explore more new and wild spaces, to gain new skills and experiences that drive me forward as both a person and a photographer. Over the last few years, I’ve had incredible opportunities to travel and work in such varied locations. Whether it is shooting big wave surfing competitions on the Atlantic coast, to winter mountaineering in the Caucasus at -20, moments like this fulfil me emotionally, spiritually and creatively. They keep pushing me forward.

How have you managed during Covid-19? Covid-19 was and is a challenging one. Up to earlier this year, I travelled extensively for my work, and not being able to travel at all, effectively meant no work. I’ve had to learn to be creative in different ways due to the pandemic. Creative in how to approach brands and clients at these difficult times and how to push potential shoots. I had to get super flexible with prices and locations. I was lucky enough that my clients and I were able to adapt to the situation swiftly. We started doing photo shoots more local rather than travelling overseas to get the content we wanted/ needed. It is still a new daily battle, but I think adapting to the situation is the only solution we have. We can’t sit around and wait for everything to return to “normal”. Whatever “normal” actually was or meant. We need to adapt now and be open to change. >>

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INTERVIEW

Do you have a favourite piece and is it hard to part with your work? It is hard to say, right now, I feel I don’t have one piece that stands out above the rest. Partly that’s down to how I feel about my work, which is also wrapped up with the experience. It’s also about the people I have travelled with and met along the way, not to mention the location and journey. So. for what some photographers may encapsulate in one image, for me it may be spread out over fifty images. I intend to create a tapestry of my experiences and have big plans on the horizon. What has been your proudest career highlight to date? I was pretty excited when I landed my very first Redbull athletic project shoot some years back. It was such an honour to have a big brand like them trusting in my work and creative eye.

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INTERVIEW

[ ...“I INTEND TO CREATE A TAPESTRY OF MY EXPERIENCES AND HAVE BIG PLANS ON THE HORIZON”... ]

What do you love most about your profession? I love that photography has so many different sectors. There are so many incredible ways to be creative with a camera. So many other subjects to photograph, so many different ways to create and shoot. The total freedom of creativity is one of the things I love the most about my profession. >>

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INTERVIEW

[ ... “I am the happiest up in the high rough, lonely mountains and the depths of our beautiful oceans.”... ]

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INTERVIEW

What does 2021 have in store? I wish I could tell. With the whole pandemic and current situation, it is tough to plan far ahead. But I have some locations and projects coming up in 2021; I am looking forward to doing. These include a ten-day Arctic Tundra ski tour, camping in the wilderness in the Moroccan Atlas Mountains, a desert project and a Patagonia/ Chile trip to mention a few! Finally, what is your favourite place to capture? Definitely nature and underwater scenes. I can’t isolate it down to one specific place on earth. But I am the happiest up in the high rough, lonely mountains and the depths of our beautiful oceans. [ V ] To view the latest collections and for more information about Lisa visit: Instagram: @lisapaarviophotography Xwebsite: www.lisapaarvio-photography.com

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NUNCHI

It has been referred to as the Korean way to read others’ minds though there’s nothing supernatural about it. It’s a way of living, listening and understanding more than just the words people say. It opens up a stream of empathy that could greatly benefit you and the person you are connecting with. Dayne Clarke dives into Nunchi, the secret to happiness. Calling all those who have ever been in a work meeting, and as your colleague wraps up the presentation says, “well, no more questions means we can go for a break”, and you pipe up “Well, actually I have a question!” or perhaps you’ve uttered the phrase “How was I supposed to know? - I am not a mind reader!” in the spur of a heated moment. If this sounds familiar, then you need to work on your Nunchi.

[Now is the time to Nunchi:

Nunchi is a Korean word that literally translated means “eye-measure.” It’s the art of sussing how people are thinking and feeling to create connection, trust, and harmony, a concept dating back to the 17th century. Nunchi is related to notions you may have heard of in western cultures such as emotional intelligence and situation awareness, but with two major distinguishing factors: Speed and location. Although the concept dates back hundreds of years, the concept is still very much applicable to modern-day living. In Korea, nunchi is deeply embedded in daily life. In traditional Korean child-rearing, nunchi is on a par with “Look both ways before crossing the street” and “Don’t hit your sister.” Parents teach their kids about nunchi starting as early as the age of three. (The tradition follows a well-known expression that goes: “A habit formed at age three lasts until age 80.”), as well as another popular saying: “Half of social life is nunchi.” So how exactly can we incorporate Nunchi? Euny Hong is the best-selling author of the “Power of Nunchi, The Korean secret to happiness and success.” The author sheds light on how we can all awaken our Nunchi skills; here are six steps to Nunchi.

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NUNCHI

: the secret to happiness...] Find someone inspiringly Nunchi.

Don’t forget the Nunchi observer effect.

We all know someone who is amazingly good at stepping back and reading a room. Well, Hong states that making them your unofficial guide will help you learn their bag of tricks. “Most people have a mentor who always seems to know what’s going on with you. In some invisible way, they always seem to be the perfect guests because they’re paying attention to what you want and what you don’t have,” says Hong.

When you enter a room, you change the room by simply being there. Be aware of your influence on those around you. Your presence is already changing the environment without you saying a word—no need for a grand entrance.

Clear your mind and drop any prejudices. Step back, breathe, and remember that labelling others prevents you from learning anything about people. If you assume you know everything about a meeting, new country, or a date before you’ve even started it, you are shutting down your senses and leaving less room to compile data about the room.

Listen more, talk less! Admittedly for many of us, this is a tough one. Those with quick nunchi are sharp listeners who sound other people instead of just themselves. Hong says they live by the words of Epictetus: “We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” When you lend others your ear, you’ll be able to communicate with them using skill and empathy. Take etiquette very seriously. “Browse a book on manners in any culture or country, and you will learn that there’s a common theme: to make people feel comfortable,” says Hong. Yes, this sounds somewhat old fashioned and restrictive, but we have manners for a reason. The author says that they also es-

tablish a sense of comfort for visitors. So, in essence, if you’re having someone over, make sure you pull out the stops to make them feel welcome. Don’t expect people to explain. “Use your words” is a phrase that children hear a lot, but Hong says that no one (including you) should feel required to be verbal. Instead, it’s our role as empathetic human beings to use a person’s full presence and what’s happening around them to clue us in on how to best practice Nunchi. “It’s your job to read between the lines,” states Hong. “A lot of fights, especially between couples, happen cyclically on the same topic over and over because one or both parties refuse to look beyond the words.” In time, speed and accuracy of implementing Nunchi improve. A true master of Nunchi can adapt to social situations on the fly to the benefit of those around them. [ V ]

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TRENDING

[ THE CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS ] VITRA CERAMIC CONTAINER NO. 1, NO.2 AND NO.3 | BY ALEXANDER GIRARD, 1952 The hand-glazed Ceramic Containers (1952) derive from the original lathe-turned wooden objects by Alexander Girard. Their silhouettes are reminiscent of the traditional shapes of apothecary vessels, board game tokens or millinery blocks. Available from Vitra at Vivendo, Mdina Road, Qormi, QRM9011. Follow on Instagram @vivendoprojects

BLUE DOOR FACADE - LIMITED EDITION FRAMED PRINT This piece is one of a series of locally-inspired ink drawings that artist and designer Stephanie Borg has reproduced as a Limited Edition Print. In her signature time-consuming technique whereby she applies layer upon layer of washes, the artist invites us to take a closer look at the quotidian life around us. Each signed and numbered print is printed on rough Cotton and supplied with an Artist Certificate of Authenticity.

WROUGHT IRON HAND-PAINTED VASES The intricate Wrought Iron designs that have adorned our Maltese façades have inspired artist and designer Stephanie Borg® to create this collection which includes hand painted ceramic vases. With each brush stroke, each vase become a unique piece of art. Discover the full collection featuring the various bold designs of Hanina, Twajba, Felħana, Qalbiena and Kburija. Add a fresh bouquet to your vase to make a bolder statement! The Stephanie Borg® Ceramic Vase Collection is handcrafted in Malta.

TILE PATTERN CUSHIONS Create cosy corners in your home or office with these timeless Tile Pattern Cushions designed and revived by Stephanie Borg®. The 100% Panama Cotton Cushions are a bold yet colourful statement that celebrate the traditional craft of cement tile-making. Each 45cm x 45cm cushion cover is elegantly finished with white piping. Choose from 4 different cushion designs or speak to the artist to create custom-designed cushions either for yourself or as an original gift! Complement the Tile Pattern Cushions with other homeware, tableware and stationery items from the same collection.

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VITRA PANTON JUNIOR | BY VERNER PANTON, 1959/2006 The small version of the Panton Chair, conceived by Verner Panton in 1959, is an ideal seating solution for children. Kids love its cheerful colours and iconic shape. This children’s chair by Vitra is made of durable dyed-through polypropylene. In 2020, Vitra revised the colour palette for Panton Junior. Available from Vitra at Vivendo, Mdina Road, Qormi, QRM9011. Follow on Instagram @vivendoprojects


Panton Chair Verner Panton. 1959/1960 Verner Panton developed the Panton Chair as the first one piece cantilever chair made of plastic. It has become an icon of twentieth-century furniture design.

EVO-C Jasper Morrison. 2020 Designed by Jasper Morrison, EVO-C is a contemporary reinterpretation of the principle and characteristics of the classic cantilever chair using the latest technologies.

The Cantilever Chair. Two chairs - more than 60 years of evolution. With the newly introduced EVO-C and the update of the Panton Chair one of our well-known classics Vitra is bringing an almost forgotten chair typology, the cantilever, back into the spotlight. Available at your exclusive, local Vitra dealer: Vivendo Group, Mdina Road, Qormi, QRM 9011 · 2277 3000 · info@vivendo.mt · vivendo.mt


TRAVEL: MEXICO

Dayna Camilleri Clarke speaks to the world-renowned architects PRODUCTORA. If you have ever dreamed of the perfect luxurious beach pad, look no further than at the multi-award-winning Bautista House

Bautista House Quintana Roo, México

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VIEWS

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TRAVEL: MEXICO

his sensational open-air retreat sits nestled between the sea and jungle, invites you to embrace the heavenly climate of Mexico. The jungle hideaway is located just a stone’s throw away from trendy Tulum, Mexico, and is surrounded by dense tropical vegetation in natural privacy. Bonus, you can even rent it out for the perfect vacay on Air BnB! Although everywhere you look is undoubtedly jaw-dropping, the best views, though, can be had from the rooftop level. There’s a large terrace with a concrete pool and an outdoor dining room. From this vantage point, one gets a 360º view of the Caribbean Sea, the dunes, the jungle and the lagoon while lounging, we jealously imagine, in full summer attire, cocktails in hand. Heaven on earth does exist… This spectacular project was developed on a narrow beachfront lot on the Riviera Maya, in Quintana Roo and is fully powered by solar and wind energy. The entire building was cast in an organic blue colour concrete, which reacts over time according to its exposure to the sun and its position in the house, creating tones that range from ocean blue to sunset pink. >> M AY _ ’ 2 1 I S S U E

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By raising the house on cross-shaped columns, the impact on the environment is reduced, and views are generated over the dune that separates the home from the sea.

views of the Caribbean Sea, the jungle and the lagoon. The airy, spacious atmosphere results from wooden floor-to-ceiling doors that completely opens up the living room to join the large terraces.

The project is set across three levels that are connected by a large spiral staircase: the auxiliary ground floor below the house, the intermediate level containing all interior spaces, and a large roof terrace with a pool and an outdoor dining room presenting

Close to the master bedroom, a distinct turret is situated: it works as a formal element that anchors the ensemble into place and doubles as a flexible space for work or meditation. >>

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The intermediate L-shaped floor plan extends beyond the ground floor through large terraces and pergolas made with local wood. In this way, the interior spaces are enlarged and protected from the sun; and good cross ventilation is achieved (only the bedrooms have an air conditioning system). These terraces have a folding mechanism that protects the house in the event of hurricanes: by raising and lowering these heavy elements against the facade, the open and transparent residence is transformed into a robust closed box. [ V ] Credits: Architecture: PRODUCTORA (Carlos Bedoya, Victor Jaime, Wonne Ickx, Abel Perles) | Collaborators: Alejandro Ordoñez, Josue Palma, Daniela Dusa, Antonio Espinoza, Gerardo Aguilar | Structural engineering: Kaltia | Mechnical engineering and sustainability: EOS | Landscape: Planta | Type: Residential | Location: Quintana Roo, Mexico | Surface: 300 m2 | Client: Ezequiel Ayarza (www.casabautistatulum.com) | Date: 2019 | Photography: Onnis Luque Winner of Wallpaper Award 2020: Best Retreat Peninsula III Award (2020): Residential Architecture Category - First Prize

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DECOR

[ MY Indoo In this month’s Earth issue, we have been delving into all things natural outside, but what about bringing the natural world into your home? Well, that’s exactly what Shelley Caruana did. Dayna Camilleri Clarke caught up with Shelley, to discover how she’s become an international Instagram success on all things leafy.

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DECOR

or Jungle.]

Back in October 2019, Shelley Caruana and her husband decided to buy a few plants to liven up their bare house. It started with six plants. Shelley explained she looked up some information about them so as not to kill the lot. And then fell down a rabbit hole. The more Shelley researched, the more exciting plants she discovered. Shelley started following plant pages on Instagram to find out more about the variety of plants that people own. Her phenomenal collection eventually grew and on 1st December 2019, she started posting on her plant themed Instagram. Shelley explains she mostly created it as a journal for herself, “I wanted to see how my plants change overtime through past photos I would have posted”. >>

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DECOR

What does having an indoor garden bring you?

Do many people reach out to you for advice?

It’s such a great hobby. Whenever I feel anxious or overworked or just need to get up and walk around, I’m constantly pacing up and down the house, checking in new growth, watering etc. It has also really helped with my anxiety and wellbeing. Whenever I’m having a particularly tough day, instead of eating comfort food or overthinking, I find myself tending for my plants, and I feel better very quickly.

Constantly! Dozens of messages per day. Luckily, most problems are similar.

I guess you feel very protective of your garden, do you worry about them?

So Shelley, amazing work! How did the Indoor Jungle all begin? Once the prospect of plants growing and changing and blooming – all thanks to my care – hit me, I just couldn’t stop buying new plants! Why do you think it has gained such immense success in just over a year? There are thousands of plant pages out there. But what differentiates mine is that it’s a clear journey of my plants. I name all my plants, so people build a connection with them. I give daily updates on my stories, and each plant has its own hashtag, so you can click on the hashtag and see all previous posts about that plant and see the changes it’s been through. After being attacked by pests, one of my plants is doing terribly - her name is Grace and she’s a Calathea Argentea. I’ve been documenting her rough journey, and so many people are invested and ask me how she’s doing! When you’re selecting a new plant, is it about mood or function? Usually, I go intending to buy a plant by function. For example I have a dark area in my house that is bare, so I need to buy a low-light tolerant plant. But when I’m at the garden centre, I always fall for an extra one. So it’s always a mixture of the two, haha!

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Most plants I don’t worry about. Some others I do, especially if they’re dramatic (and expensive)! There was a period of time where I first discovered pests on a couple of my plants, and for a short while, I think the whole plant situation was stressing me out more than calming me, just because I was scared the pests will infest all my babies and kill them off! But I quickly made my peace with it, they’re not that difficult to control, and I spot them very quickly now. Also, I’ve come to terms with the fact that plants are living organisms like us, and things can go wrong, and they can die. A great excuse to invest in the next plant! Do you have any favourite plants or least? Such a difficult question! I have an Alocasia silver dragon which is quite a rare plant, and I adore it. Monstera Deliciosa plants have gorgeous foliage and watching their leaves unfurl is such a delight. Marantas (or prayer plants in general) grow super fast, so very satisfying plants to own. They also fold up their leaves at night, which is very cool. I don’t have any “least favourite” plants, but I find begonias and calatheas particularly dramatic and challenging to keep happy. Does it matter to you how long plants last? I think so, yes. I’ve only owned plants for one and a half years, and I’d like to think they’ll be around for a few years, primarily because of the bond my followers and I have built with them.

Have you seen people more interested in growing an indoor jungle after the onset of Covid-19? Yes, definitely. Loads of my friends picked up the hobby during Covid and after following my journey and seeing how happy it makes me. What tips would you give those looking to create an indoor jungle? Start with easy plants like snake plants, devil’s ivy and ZZ plants. Check out YouTube videos for tips and do your research, as not everyone’s environment is the same. Once you’ve gotten the hang of the easy plants, then you can up the difficulty. What’s the direction for your page? Continue showing off my plants’ journeys is always the main aim. I have launched my website, where I am selling some lovely plant pots and accessories. I am also planning workshops and a plant journal for logging all their details. My goal for the website is to design my pots one day, as I feel when I plant dressed up in the right pot, it sometimes improves it dramatically. Follow Shelley on Instagram: shelleys.indoor.jungle or visit her website, www.shelleysindoorjungle.com


Depicting The Amazonian Spirit Spirit. Meeting John Dyer

British artist John Dyer is more than an artist, in the UK he’s a household name and popular contemporary art subject for school children. John is renowned for his prowess at capturing the world’s most remote environments and their inhabitants in a truly colourful ensemble, and what’s more returning back to the UK and spreading the word for generations to come. We are over the moon to feature him in this issue, we couldn’t think of anyone more fitting. Dayna Camilleri Clarke caught up with John, to discuss his creative journey.

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A Penan Tribe Welcome, Long Iman, Mulu, Borneo. 12x12 inches acrylic on canvas

ART: JOHN DYER


ART: JOHN DYER

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[ ...“IT WAS AN EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE FOR ME, THAT GAVE ME A LIFELONG LOVE, APPRECIATION AND CONNECTION TO THE RAINFOREST. IT ALSO CHANGED ME CREATIVELY”... ]

Have you always been interested in conservation?

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I grew up in the wilds of North Cornwall in the UK and spent my childhood roaming the huge wild beaches, sand dunes, rugged moorland and sheltered valleys armed with my camera, field guides, binoculars and a sketching book and paints. I was enchanted by everything I saw, sand blowing across the beach, shells and sea creatures, fantastic fungi in the woods, frogs and newts, the vast array of seabirds, the sounds of the dawn chorus, the waves crashing onto the shore and the constant chorus of crickets in the night. This gave me a love of the natural world, and my creative process allowed me to understand it, capture it and celebrate it. These early adventures created the foundation and direction for my future life. How did you become interested in portraying rainforests? For my art degree, I trained in London in design, photography and painting - a wondrous mix of art and design that led me, in 1989, to be awarded a travelling bursary from Thames TV. This financial and corporate backing for my art allowed me to create a whole new adventure, and what could be more significant than going to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil to explore the remaining nature beauty, which I did with my camera and infrared black and white film. It was an extraordinary experience for me, that gave me a lifelong love, appreciation and connection to the rainforest. It also changed me creatively; I abandoned photography as it had been unable to capture the true spirit of the rainforest, and I moved to paint as that could capture not only what I saw but also what I felt. That is when art happens, and that is why art is so important. In 1989 I was also made a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society by the vice president Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, and Robin’s advice, mentoring and friendship over the years has fuelled my connections with the rainforest as he is the 20th century world’s greatest explorer and has connections all over the world.

How did this lead to the phenomenal collaboration at the Eden Project? The extraordinary plant forms I saw in the rainforest ignited a renewed passion for Cornwall. Cornwall is blessed with a temperate climate caused by the Gulf stream. Sub-tropical plants grow wildly all around the coast with succulents, palms, bizarre flowers that tower like triffids over 15 feet high and even agave cactus plants from Chile. The ‘Lost Gardens of Heligan’ were reawakened by Tim Smit (co-founder of Eden Project). I remember meeting Tim in the garden at Heligan when only a handful of visitors were allowed to venture inside. The garden has an astonishing ‘jungle garden’ full of tree ferns and palms, and I decided to relocate from Camden in London, where I was painting and freelancing as a designer, and I moved back to Cornwall to paint. All of those plants and the gardens provided my ‘rainforest’ but what happened a few years later was truly was remarkable - the Eden Project was built. The Eden Project is the world’s largest captive rainforest. I approached the Eden Project team about painting the plants, and they already knew my art well as I was one of only 50 contemporary artists at the time selling their art worldwide through the world’s biggest publishers - the Art group. Those early days of having my posters in every outlet from Habitat to Castorama paved the way for me as a young artist. Sue Hill, the art director at the Eden Project at the time, loved my ethnobotanical works from Provence. I had spent a few summers and autumns painting the grape and olive harvests, and this type of human connection to plants was exactly what Eden was about. I left my first meeting with the Eden Project as the ‘Painter in Residence’ and over twenty years later I still work alongside them in this role when I wish. Eden had about 50 artists they worked with within the early days, but I was the only artist who asked to see the plants! Once a week I would drive up to the special plant nursery they had whilst the actual biomes where being >>


ART: JOHN DYER

Spiritual Butterflies, Rio Gregório, Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. 24 x24 inches acrylic on canvas.

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Twilight Orangutans. 24x24 inches Acrylic on canvas. Borneo

ART: JOHN DYER

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ART: JOHN DYER constructed, and they would slide open the doors to my private rainforest with 20,000 plants! Apart from 4 or five gardeners, it was only myself in there, and it was heaven. That led to working in the biomes, and it was a total joy - finally an art studio that was real rainforest - butterflies, tree frogs and all! You’ve held some pretty impressive artist in residence positions. Can you tell us a bit more about that? I have been very lucky during my career, but I created the opportunities myself by following the breadcrumbs from my original adventure in the Amazon in 1989 to today. One residency seemed to naturally follow the next - not through invitation, but through reaching out to an organisation or individual with a proposal. Painting at Eden sparked an interest in gardens - so I asked Alan Titchmarsh if I could visit him and paint - he said yes! Then I thought what fun it would be to spend a week with rock star come gardener Kim Wilde, and she said yes too! That led to an exhibition at the Eden project of new paintings from Italy and a set of signed prints of Alan’s garden (signed by Alan and myself), and a live talk with Alan and myself to 500 people at the Eden project. It put me on the radar of the leading plant genetics group CGIAR, and I suddenly found myself in Costa Rica painting bananas! One thing led to another and invitations to the Philippines to paint the rice harvest for the United Nations year of Rice and then to Peru to paint the potato harvest for the United Nations Year of the potato. Residence after residency kept coming. They have all been enormous fun. Everyone has had a focus on biodiversity and the environment, even the Australian residency for Banrock Station wine, where I painted the rejuvenated wetlands and wildlife and got served chilled rose wine whilst painting in the outback! What have been some of your greatest career highlights to date? One of my favourite residencies has

been back at the Eden Project in 2015. I put together a project with Robin Hanbury-Tenison and Survival International for me to spend ten days with an Amazon Indian, Nixiwaka Yawanawá, in the rainforest biome. It was extraordinary. Nixiwaka had never painted before, and I had never heard of or experienced the Yawanawá’ tribe’s spirituality and deep connection to the rainforest. We taught each other and created a new genre of art - Amazon art. I believed this is a world first, and the paintings that Nixiwaka and myself did are a unique and first insight into the tribal culture and understanding of the rainforest. And the biggest challenges? Painting in rainforest condition in very remote parts of the world is deeply challenging. My first two ‘Last Chance to Paint’ expeditions (https://www.lastchancetopaint. com) in 2019 took me to the edge of what I am emotionally and physically capable of. I repeated the residency with Nixiwaka Yawanawá in June 2019. This time, we did it embedded with his tribe in a very remote corner of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest near Peru. Just the final part of the journey to get there is an 8-hour motorised canoe ride along treacherous rivers filled with fallen trees and wildlife. It’s not for the fainthearted. Working within the complex dynamics and structure of the tribe, with the chief and shaman, was complicated and shone even more light on the fantastic relationship these people have with the rainforest. In September of the same year, I spent some time in Borneo, deep in the rainforest with wild orangutans. It was the most wonderful experience, but there were so much smoke and ash falling from the sky as the rainforest burnt all around me that it was hard to breathe, and the sun was obliterated. It was physically and emotionally hard, but it has re-energised me to try to do my bit to stop the devastation by educating children using art to engage them in the issues. I was literally on the front line of climate change, and it is shocking—a real war zone.

You are an earth day artist. Why is this important to you? Being an artist for the earth with earthday.org is a privilege, and I was delighted when the organisation asked me to be one of their artists in this role. It’s important for me as every organisation I work alongside helps me gain a larger audience and engage people optimistically and positively in making changes in their lives to protect the planet. Art is an amazing way to do this and the reach of an organisation like Earth Day is huge. You work a lot on educating the youth of today. Why is this essential? My paintings are studied in schools around the world, but in the UK, I am often the subject of school work from the primary level all the way up to a degree thesis! I get requests from schools studying my paintings of Cornwall, but for me, if they can fulfil the contemporary artist part of the curriculum with my environmental paintings, that achieves far more. If we can capture young minds early and give them personal reasons to protect the environment, they might take steps to do that. It comes down to one word - love. If we can’t instil a love for the environment, how can we expect children to be careful with it? We have to move beyond the science of the rainforest and talk about it on a personal level. I aim to give children that personal connection, a love for the environment by getting them to invest their own time in making a painting and learning what and who the painting is about. Once you have met the Yawanawá tribe with me and seen the baby orangutans and painted them, I believe it will create that love, and then we can start real change at a powerful individual level. We really don’t have long to get this right now, and the next decade with set the future, but the future isn’t written yet - well, not entirely anyway, so there is hope. Let’s paint a brighter picture for us all. >>

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Yawanawá Tribal Ayahuasca Ceremony, Amazon Rainforest 24 x24 inches acrylic on canvas

ART: JOHN DYER

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ART: JOHN DYER Can you describe your creative process? To start a painting, I have to experience the subject, see it, walk around in it, gaze at it, think about it and love it. Once I have formed that connection I embark on painting by committing paint directly from the tubes of colours onto my canvas. No drawing, no visual planning, just a general idea of what I feel and want to say. The painting is a three-way conversation, my voice, the subject and the painting itself. I paint with speed and total focus when working outside on location and don’t leave the place I am painting until the canvas is complete. It can be intense, and Nixiwaka found the experience exhausting working alongside me. He literally sank to his knees with tiredness, and this is a young man who can run a marathon and who’s natural habitat is the rainforest!

[ ...“2021 SHOULD SEE ME IN KENYA, WHERE I WILL PAINT THE VERY LAST TWO NORTHERN WHITE RHINOS ON PLANET EARTH ”... ] Do you find it hard to part with your work? Each piece of work I complete is part of my journey through life. They are in many ways, autobiographical and often contain my family or me as a narrative in the paintings. I have kept a few key examples over the years, and my family has requested to keep a few. The vast majority of my paintings are purchased quickly by private buyers, and I see that as

the buyer looking after the painting, the picture hasn’t really gone. It’s just out of sight for a bit, and hopefully radiating positive energy, my story and the story of the viewer for many decades or centuries to come. Each painting is a part of me, my life and my ongoing story and connection to the world, and they need to be on walls and filling people with joy. What’s in store for 2021? 2021 should see me in Kenya in Africa painting with the Maasai tribe and capturing this amazing country’s wildlife on canvas. I will be working with the Born Free Foundation who is hosting the project and a working partner for Last Chance to Paint. I will paint the very last two Northern White rhinos on planet earth and use that story to let schools know how little time there is and how the entire chain of biodiversity is crumbling. However, it will be a celebration of people, plants, and animals, not a miserable telling of disaster, but a look into a better future if we all play our part.

I am also aware of the increasing mental health issues caused by the pandemic, and I am very busy raising money with an art auction for Cornwall Mind - the mental health charity. I have gained a lot of support from this, with many celebrities creating artworks for the auction. It’s all a lot of fun but with a very serious cause at the heart of it. Some of the people involved can be seen here: https://johndyergallery.com/pages/ mind-cornwall-art-auction Last Chance to Paint is also being prepared for the possibility I can’t travel in 2021, so we have a full site redesign ready to go live in a week or so and Born Free and myself will be doing a series of webinars for our 280 schools across 29 countries quite a following! Beyond that painting the amazing summer in the arctic beckons and killer whales off the coast of Canada - there is so much to do and celebrate in our wonderful world. [ V ]

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