Fresh food and healthy eating concept Verde Kitchen at Hilton Singapore has been open for several months now, serving up punchy dishes which show that things don’t have to be dull when you’re going healthy with your meals. We’ve covered Verde Kitchen before (here’s a link if you missed it), and praised them for their commitment to using sustainably-sourced ingredients and presenting farm-to-table cuisine.
Now, Verde Kitchen is engaging in a collaboration with local botanical watercolour artist Lucinda Law in an exhibition named Edible Beauty. The exhibition is a gallery of watercolour pieces that depict, in stunning fidelity, the botanical wonders that make their way into our diet on a daily basis. Yes, I’m talking about greens: fruits, vegetables, and roots!
The exhibition was launched this month on 4th April 2018, and will run till 4th June 2018. All works are for sale and 10 percent of all profits from sales of the works will go to charity group Food from the Heart, which runs a food distribution programme for the needy.
Law will also be conducting Art & Dine, a botanical art workshop ($158 per pax), at Verde Kitchen on 28 April 2018, Saturday from 2pm to 5pm. The three-hour session will be centred on illustrating and painting using watercolours and mixed media. The workshop will also include a private tour of Hilton Singapore’s very own Vertical Garden, led by Executive Chef Vijayakant Shanmugam, and an assortment of healthy refreshments from Verde Kitchen.
Lucinda Law is a self-professed plant lover and watercolour artist. She is a writer, lecturer, speaker, and artist, who believes firmly that bringing art and nature together provides powerful creative nourishment for the soul. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in art projects with Four Seasons Hotel, Changi Airport Group, and Mandai Park Holdings, to name a few; she is currently also an ambassador for Faber Castell.
We speak to her to find out more about Edible Beauty, herself, and how she finds her inspiration.
You’re a plant lover; what does your typical meal look like?
LAW: My friends have teased me about this before! They’ve said that since I like plants, does it mean that I don’t eat my plant friends, and [hence] eat meat exclusively? Well, quite the opposite. I’ve been conscious about eating a more plant-based diet lately, consisting of at least eight kinds of fruits and vegetables, and I’ve been focusing on fitting as many colours as I can into my fridge.
How do your paintings go with the food at Verde Kitchen?
LAW: When I was preparing for the exhibition, I did some research and [shortlisted some] botanical subjects that were featured in Verde Kitchen’s menu. I then asked Chef Vijayakant Shanmugam to send over some seasonal ingredients from the pantry so that I could replicate them. So you can probably say that my paintings are specifically based off ingredients from Verde Kitchen.
Your paintings are really lifelike! Do you watch out for anything in particular to bring the most out of your art?
LAW: I look for subjects with special characteristics in their forms and shapes. They’ve got to have stylistic qualities that resonate with me, so that I can survive the long hours of painting!
Is inspiration hard to come by?
LAW: As a full-time artist and a creative director for many botanical design projects, I have my own rituals and habits that help me find inspiration.
So, where do you go for ideas?
LAW: I go out into nature – the outdoors. I also enjoy making trips to the library which always bring fresh inspiration.
What is your favourite creation so far?
LAW: I don’t have a favourite piece of work per se, but I have really enjoyed merging botanical watercolour artworks with my botanical installations in the past. I’ll be creating more mixed media and multi-disciplinary works this year and in the forthcoming years.
Just curious: if you were a plant, which plant would you be?
LAW: I’d be a Johannesteijsmannia magnifica or Licuala spinosa. I love palms!