Ronald van der Hilst works in garden and landscape architecture, as well as art and slow design (artisanal products).
Van der Hilst’s gardens, vases, products and cooperations are all milestones in his perpetual quest for timeless beauty, both in form and spirit. His deep-rooted connection with garden design, plants and flowers combined with his passion for the tulip lends a poetic dimension to his work. Often he also engages in a dialogue with the historical context of the setting. The ephemeral aspect of gardens and flowers, the constant change of light, colour and intensity, growth and degradation, the movements of tulips in a vase… All these elements are combined in Van der Hilst’s work, allowing the observer to engage with it, imbuing it with his/her own emotions and fantasy.
While gardens and flowers tend to be romantic, Van der Hilst chooses not to focus on the sentimental aspect as he is all too aware of the easy and obvious attraction. Instead his work is a quest to understand the frame of reference – the so-called Genius Loci or spirit of place in landscape design –, which he interprets in his authentic, natural and timeless designs. His gardens are integral designs and his vases set the stage for the unique and individual features of every flower, expressing his fascination with form and composition.
Van der Hilst is intrigued to unveil what is hidden: 'The tulip, with its magnificent, forgotten history and its incredible heritage of arts and crafts, has become a metaphor for my quest. This beloved spring flower, which may seem simple and cheap at first glance, however, can also be a vehicle, leading us to botany, geo-political and cultural history, religion, garden design, art, economy, poetry, collecting, speculation and passion. The tulip opens our eyes if we allow it to!'
'And so I hope that this collection of handmade vases and tree planters will inspire you to reinterpret its function and personalise your interior, patio or garden with it!'