Ariane Koek

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Ariane Koek

Artist of the Floating World

London, United Kingdom
Creative Producer, Curator & Writer

Victoria Amazonica at Dorset Water Lily Company, UK; image: Katie Wood

Named after a British queen. You have inspired the roof of a crystal palace. Caused wars over your name. Become the insignia of Guyana. Staged a song cycle. Been a spectacle in your own right. Your flowers are white the first night. Turn pink the second. Then they die.

In your time you have lived many lives and travelled across many of the world’s oceans. By land. By air. By hand even. Yet still humans insist you only began to exist on this earth when they announced you as a ‘discovery’ in the Amazon in 1801. And yet, you are known to have lived when the dinosaurs roamed. You are resilient, strong and brave, and can transform into many things – a cradle, a bed, a stage, a roof, a boat – as big as 2.70metres wide.

What advice can be given to such a great time and world traveller like you? Maybe only this. That as the ice sheets melt and the oceans rise, it is essential you find a way to survive and thrive in salt water. For yourself and all beings. Because you will become a life raft, a refuge, a floating cosmos for all beings. You are – Victoria.