Artist spotlight

Marc Sardi

Not every floral artist and botanical photographer can claim to have trained in wildlife biology and worked in the ecological sphere for 20 years before turning to art. That’s just one of the ways in which Montréal artist Marc Sardi is unique.

Those who know his art from Instagram are already addicted to his unique creative flair — and now thanks to our Bloom collection, we can all enjoy his stunning images in our homes. Let’s meet the man behind the magic.

How did you get into botanical photography?

When I was a kid there was an empty lot across from my home in the West Island where I went every single day. I loved looking at plants, animals, birds, and picking huge wild flower bouquets. That’s where my love of nature took root.

In 2016, after a full career in wildlife biology, I started playing around with floral arrangements and putting my photos on Instagram, just for kicks and giggles. It started something. In 2017 I launched my business, first by making bouquets people would come and get at my home, then by focusing my services on wedding arrangements and workshops.

What inspired your work for this collection?

I’m a huge fan of baroque art and the Dutch Golden Age — still lives, memento mori and all that. Though at the time the Dutch artists would paint all sorts of flowers that didn’t really belong together, that were from different areas in the world or that blossomed at different times. These paintings were displays of opulence through diversity. But I’m still really influenced by the shapes of the arrangements and the wildness of those paintings.

Do you have a favourite flower?

Yes, it’s an indigenous canadian flower called the red columbine. I have it tattooed on my leg. It’s so beautiful — the flowers are shaped like little bells and it adds a sophisticated pop of colour.

How do you maintain your eco focus in your floral arrangement business?

My sustainability focus is really sharp, so all aspects of my business adhere to strict environmental principles. The most obvious way is in my choice of flowers.

When I was looking to switch up my career from field ecology I worked in a flower shop for a year. It was such a learning experience — how flowers are shipped, how they’re packed. I saw the underside of the global flower industry. It’s all so unsustainable.

So I decided to use only local and seasonal products for my business. I exclusively use flowers that either I grow in my garden, or I source in flower markets in Quebec or Vermont. I also pick a lot myself, ethically and responsibly, in the wilderness, along roadsides, in empty lots or at friends’ houses, who live outside the city.

Do you buy yourself flowers?

Of course! If I go to a flower market for an upcoming event and there are incredible species that really don’t fit with the theme, for sure I’m getting them for myself. There are always arrangements throughout my house.

Your house must look like a botanical garden sometimes!

Seriously. When I’ve got an event coming up there are flowers everywhere — from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom. It’s kind of fun, but I honestly would love more space.

What’s your birth flower?

The snowdrop, which I love. It’s the first flower to peek through in my garden come spring.

Do you prefer your nature wild or tamed?

You’ve just got to take one look at my garden to know my answer is wild. I’m a wild child, in my heart and in my soul.

Coming soon to your walls!

More of Marc Sardi's art