STUDIO VISIT 01: Volim – An Abstract Collaboration

Envision a young florist with a talent for abstract illustrations, a newfound love for pottery and a passion for Australian native flowers. Now picture a fashion designer inspired by nature and science, sewing recycled materials, and bringing photo shoots of obscure artwork to life. Mash these two images together and the ultimate duo emerges; Volim. An indescribable abstract collaboration between two young artists and talented friends.

Fashion designer Tia Tokic and florist Lauren Salt are opposites in creative nature, yet companions in art and morals, which made collaboration a natural transition.

As I sat in their dimly lit studio, dried flowers and plants bursting from the pots around me, soft instrumental music played from the speakers and illustrations were taped to the walls. I sat at a dusty wooden table and asked the two young women why they create.

Personal evolution, self-expression, personal entertainment, they explained.

“For the feeling of creating, it’s not for the money”, said Tia.

Tia’s approach to fashion design is experimental whilst also structured and self disciplined. “If I’m looking at a messy room, I won’t sew. As a seamstress you just have to get on with it”, said Tia. Lauren is more fluid in her creative process, with seven years of floristry experience; she also creates comical illustrations, dabbles in videography and indulges in pottery making.

The style of Volim is abstract, experimental, organic, and otherworldly. Each year seems to bring a new creative pursuit for the duo, as Tia and Lauren combine similar aesthetics from different industries. The one challenge lies within finding a happy medium between experimentation and sustainability.

“We both see the flaws in the industries we work in; floristry and fashion both create huge amounts of waste,” said Tia.

“People need to think about what they’re buying.”

The garments created from Volim are one-off items sewn from second hand fabrics, scrap materials and reconstructed garments.

In the pursuit to influence a conscious consuming society, Tia utilizes eco-friendly materials such as hemp and seaweed. Lauren dries out old flowers and reuses them for photo-shoots and illustrations. “Everyone should use Australian native flowers,” Lauren explains; they last vastly longer than imported flowers and carry a uniquely beautiful appearance.

Their experimental nature helps Volim create functional and timeless pieces of artwork whilst recycling shines through every photo and garment, every flower and drawing. “It’s the most cliché thing but you’ve got to follow your bloody dreams,” laughs Tia. As humble and down to earth as they are, Tia and Lauren have managed to achieve a balance of creating art whilst caring for the planet. An inspirational ambition for all creatives.

Volim’s artwork is currently displayed in an exhibition at Beyond Skate until Friday May 5th, and projects can be viewed on their website