Alex a.k.a Lord Newry is a Green Enthusiast and set design extraordinaire, she’s got a flair for foliage and a beautifully unique aesthetic when working with flowers. Tigerlily had the pleasure of working with Alex on the Belle De Jour campaign where she transformed our set into a wonderfully French inspired hideaway. We have met with Alex on a number of occasions and not only is her personality beautifully contagious she’s an incredibly talented artist.
Follow Lord Newry @lordnewry_ & at http://cargocollective.com/lordnewry_
Tell us a little about your back ground and where your love of flowers and styling began?
It’s difficult to explain…so I’m off to a great start. But it’s just complicated. As every kid is, I was fascinated by all things living and was forever asking questions. My parents, Grandma, Pop, Nan, Aunts & Uncles always entertained mine & my siblings curious minds. We had a very free upbringing. Most of the men in my family are in the building industry, so naturally I took to working on job sites from an early age and absolutely loved the details of buildings and structures, everything finished and unfinished. I used to collect scrap from all the job sites (which my Dad absolutely loathed).
There was too much restriction in the idea of being a tradie and not enough green things, so I went through school having an idea of who I was but no idea how I was meant to live being me. I wanted to stay true to my mad but wonderful family roots…so I went travelling after finishing a ridiculously pointless degree in Sustainable Development. I loved the idea of sustainability, but no one else in my course really did. I spent two strange years in a town called Ouseborn, North Yorkshire and travelled regularly with my sister around Europe. I suppose I was always in touch with creating things but here I really gained a huge appreciation for creating temporary installations with plants and flowers. I saw the seasons and loved the plants, I loved the old cottages and the picture perfect British gardens. One Spring I visited Gertrude Jekylls garden at Holy Island and knew I needed to work outdoors, constantly and forever. It’s a hard industry to get into if you don’t have any family ties, but I was determined. SO, here I am and the styling aspect…well that runs in the family blood.
How did you become involved with Tigerlily?
It really was a crazy, beautiful occurrence. I had the absolute privilege of being in touch with stylist Bridie Gilbert a few months prior to Tigerlily’s shoot. We met in Sydney to discuss some things.
The next contact I had with Bridie was an email asking about the Tigerlily shoot. Obviously, I couldn’t accept the offer quick enough, growing up adoring Tigerlily and then being asked to be a part of it really was a complete shock and honour.
Your aesthetic and creative flair was such a perfect match for the Belle De Jour Campaign, can you give us an insight into the brief?
Bridie sent over some inspiration photos of the interior space, a beautiful couch and a general flower feel. So I drew up some moodboards for direction and made sure Bridie was happy with it. But honestly, the brief really came together on the day. Seeing the naturally romantic light, the decaying building, the model, how the photographer interacted with the space and hearing everyone’s direction really helped to give the flowers the unstructured flow they needed.
The entire Tigerlily team have a slight obsession with flowers, our office is constantly adorned with in-season flowers matching back to our inspirations and themes, is your home and office a gallery of floral inspiration?
Oh, flowers and plants are a necessity in every space. Surrounding yourself with natural beauty keeps you happy. It may not be overly appealing to my guests but more often then not, my house will be full of cuttings from my walks around the neighborhood. I’ll leave them to dry, press them or leave them to root in glasses of water. Luckily, I have a tendency to move around a lot, so my variety of foliage is always different (making my learning & understanding challenging). As I move often & love to hoard, I tend to take my collections of plants, terrariums and dried flowers with me everywhere I go. At this present moment, I have an array of pomegrante, persimmons, lavender, magnolia branches, succulents and garden roses creating havoc in the house. Oh & lemons…I always steal peoples lemons.
This is would be like asking you to choose a favourite child but…what is your favourite flower?
This, I’m afraid is an extremely difficult question. Not trying to be at all morbid, but I could perhaps give you my most disliked flower? Gerberas… they’re probably the only flower I’ll ever question.
And then…which are the hardest and most challenging to work with?
All flowers to me are challenging to work with. Gaining an understanding of their fluency in their space, their development over time and the durability of each of them is unique and different….which I adore. But, probably the really itchy, stubbornly stiff ones that tend to scratch you… Like, Sea Holly.
Where do you source your flowers from?
Depending on where I am and what I know, flowers can come from an old ladies immaculately wild garden, the beautiful old man’s property, the side of the road, an adventure up the mountains, along the coast line or an early morning flower market run. But I take great pleasure in meeting the marvellous minds of growers. Visiting them directly really helps you appreciate the love and devolution they pour into their flowers and is a terrific way to learn.
Can you share with us one of your most memorable jobs
Besides the Tigerlily shoot, I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful lady, Janne at Splendour in the Grass. I set up an installation for the artist tent. Aside from the small colour palette I had to abide by, I practically had total freedom. But most of my favourite jobs are my own. My art is with flowers.
Have you any tips for best keeping our flowers looking fresh at home?
Always clear leaves from the stems, so they’re not sitting in the water (they make a horrible mucky mess & tend to smell a little off). Make sure your water is always clean. Don’t clutter up your vases. Snip a few cms from the stem (on an angle) when you bring them home. Sprinkle a little sugar in the water (my Grandma told me so), and lastly and most importantly…play them lovely music.