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A 'Super' fantastic new mural for the cafe

Whilst our gardens have been enjoying their winter sleep, here at the Nursery we have been busy collaborating with the incredibly talented artist, Florence Super. Florence (Flo) was on site for a week in February and has created a botanical spectacle on a wall inside the cafe. Here, we talk to Flo about her ideas, what inspires her and her universal love for the ocean and all plant life.

Flo's journey to becoming an artist is not the conventional path. After graduating from Exeter University with a Sport Science degree, she began to feel that her creative needs were not being fulfilled and an underlying passion and energy to paint was calling to her. Reuniting with her brushes, she began to paint pictures of marine life - a subject that she had enjoyed whilst taking her A Level Art. Thinking about it commercially, she felt that these marine paintings would hang well in seafood restaurants and hotels by the sea and so she started to write to a number of Cornish based businesses, where she had spent many happy holidays.

Her first commission was with the Stein group with a request for a mural for their Fisheries and Seafood Bar in Padstow. This 3m x 5m mural helped to set her aspirations to become an artist. Since then she has created many other mural installations for restaurants all over the UK and artworks for private homes around the world. Flo has also completed a PGCE qualification to teach secondary school Art and has attended various fairs across the country including the Padstow Christmas Festival, in the town where it all began.

A conversation started between Flo and the Nursery in early January 2021 about the possibility of creating a mural on one of the Cafe walls. The idea was to create a beautiful botanical celebration of the amazing plant life that can be found at the Nursery.

Flo was the perfect choice to deliver this idea. Using acrylic paint, her favourite medium, it allows her to create texture without it taking too long to dry and is versatile, which suits this style of painting well. Once the composition was agreed, it was then down to Flo to deliver the end result. Working with colours, textures, depth and what the total effect would end up looking like, Flo had to map out the shapes first on the wall to ensure that the composition was perfect. Then it was adding the colour, which she freely applies, using a large range of colours whilst moving with the paint as she goes along. The detail is usually applied in 4-6 layers and normally applied one layer at a time for the whole piece rather than finishing one aspect in full before moving onto the next. This provides Flo with the opportunity to sit back and look at the whole piece and see how it is beginning to take shape and what needs further attention.

I would love to be working mainly on murals - this is a huge passion of mine. There is something about murals which, for me, tells so much more of a story than an artwork hung. I will cherish the opportunity given to me, and the faith placed in me to paint the botanical mural for the Duchy Nursery, a first for me and them.

Florence Super

Flo takes inspiration from artwork and artists on a daily basis but also finds inspiration outside of the art world. She credits her mum for much of her creative passion and inspiration, who like her is equally obsessed with nature.

We asked her what is her favourite place in the whole world and why. She choose two - firstly Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia, where the colours of the ocean, marine life, coral, palm leaves, jungle and buildings are an assault on all of the senses. Second - where she is perhaps the happiest, is in her home garden and studio. Where she gets to play, create, design and experience nature throughout the seasons.

We can't wait for our customers to fully experience and enjoy this beautiful addition to our Cafe. In the meantime you can visit us for take away and from April 12th, our outdoor seating areas will be opened and a new menu will be available. We look forward to seeing you soon.