Dutch-born artist and landscape designer Ronald van der Hilst (1965), moved to Antwerp in 1993 when the city was Cultural Capital of Europe. Initially he concentrated on designing garden and landscape projects and making reports for magazines. Although it started as a joke, the tulip has become a constant theme in his work for 10 years. As a passionate flower lover from early age, he was touched by the marvellous history of the tulip of Antwerp and he realised that he – as a Dutchman - had never really had an open mind towards this ‘cliché’ flower. His collection of ‘tulip designs’ includes the crystal tulip vase "Bulbe", fashioned by Val Saint Lambert, which has been added to the tulip vase collection of the Dutch Queen Beatrix. He made Antwerp aware of this hidden treasure history by an exhibition project in 2006, in which all the official local museums and many of the window-displays of Antwerp fashion designers were involved. In collaboration with some fashion designers he made tulip drawings on clothes, published a book, created murals, reliefs, sculptures, boxes, chandeliers, illustrations and postcards all with the tulip as a theme. Also, Ronald van der Hilst designed tulip settings for the historical garden of the Rubens Museum, Museum Plantin Moretus, Castle Den Brandt and the Kalmthout Arboretum. His gardens and tulipmania have attracted the attention of International magazines and blog sites like Bloom, Elle Décor, Elle, Country Life and A Shaded View on Fashion.
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