We spent an early morning chatting with Noah Rudd-Abrahams, a 25 year old Australian-Filipino self taught flower press artist.
Her practice of pressing flora started in 2019, resulting in the creation of Pandorea’s Herbarium in 2021 ~ an art project which celebrates the beauty of everyday moments and encourages one to connect with nature.
Living on Darkinjung Land, Noah's passion for botany and ecology stems from the rich environment of Australian coastal communities.
1. What inspired you to start Pandorea's Herbarium?
My curiosity towards wanting to understand the plant species within my local environment, was my main source of inspiration.
Pressing flora specimens was a way for me to study plants more intimately. Learning about the different parts of flowers and what they are called, or all the various shapes of leaves and their geometric patterns - all the different possibilities amaze me and learning about them makes me feel more connected to the Earth, this land and essentially my own self.
Using pressed flora as an art medium was something that I explored first with my friend, Uma. We sat down one day, drank chai tea, talked about our love for plants whilst making collages using natives which she’d pressed.
I adored the way they turned out – after this experience I continued creating more artworks using pressed flora out of my own herbarium collection and started sharing them with my online network.
Eventually, I had the opportunity to showcase my artworks at a local market night. After receiving kind and encouraging feedback from the community, it became very obvious to me that I should continue to share this passion and pursue my creativity.
2. What gets you in the headspace to create?
A relaxing walk, whether it be on the beach or in the bush, a satisfying surf after a day at work or when I feel the need to ground myself – there’s nothing more enticing to me than the thought of sitting down with a cup of tea and creating something. I have to be very gentle when handling pressed flora, which I find to be very calming and meditative.
3. Words you live by?
“ For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” - Carl Sagan