Bougainvillea, frangipani, livistona palm and more…

Highlife poster artist Clare Napper, famous for collection of posters that perfectly sum up expat life in the UAE, launches new 2022 collection inspired by the country’s beautiful flowers . We sat down for a chat to know more…

Claire, we’ve missed you. What have you been doing since your last art collection?

Well, during the pandemic I was slowly releasing new Highlife posters. I’ll be working on the last few posters to complete the series, although there are always more I feel compelled to do. I also designed a locally-themed game called ‘Sandy Charades,’ which has sold out both festive seasons. Then Expo 2020 happened, which was a dream job. You might have seen my vintage designs in the souvenir shops. Last month, I had the pleasure to tie up with Ravis x Adidas and bring new life to my Ravi’s poster, and I also released my first NFTs in metaverse galleries by Dubai’s Morrow Collective. All in all, I’ve been having a very enjoyable time.

Owning a print from your High Life collection is almost a rite of passage for Dubai residents – did the response shock you?

Absolutely. I often have to pinch myself that my work is still being bought every day. I am so grateful to all my customers as they have allowed me to completely change the direction of my life. I feel as if I have only just started on this new creative journey.

Now you’re back with Jardins Des UAE – can you tell us about it?

Last year I moved into a very idyllic old bungalow and have since been in awe of the plant life around my neighbourhood. It was all so colourful and glorious that I felt compelled to try and capture it in graphic art.

So, you’ve been inspired by your own garden?

Yes. I’ve tried to bring new life to our favourite flowers and palms through my poster format, in the hope they will become a collectable series for villa dwellers. I experimented with both muted and bold colour options to suit different tastes. So far the collection includes bougainvillea, frangipani, livistona palm, periwinkle, traveller’s palm and desert rose.

Do you have a personal favourite?

It has to be the pink periwinkle. I love the colours, the simplicity and the joyful boldness. Periwinkles are also the colourful flowers you see on roundabouts. They do really well in this hot sun.

What do you try to achieve with every collection you create?

All my work so far has been to try and capture insights into our expat experience that we all share. I think a shared understanding of a place brings comfort and a sense of home.

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What has been the response so far?

Well, all who came to the exhibition launch seemed to love the idea and hadn’t seen their flowers portrayed like this before. Everyone had a different favourite, although the most popular seemed to be the traveller’s palm. I sold two large frames in the first 20 minutes so that was the best response I could hope for.

What are you working on next?

I have actually begun a new project around the theme of ‘big tech and society’. My animated NFT in Art Dubai was the first of this series. It is such a rich topic to explore. I plan to get immersed this summer when everything is quieter. I just got temporarily distracted by the stunning bougainvillea outside my studio…

Prints come in a range of sizes from A5 (Dhs85) to A3 Limited Edition Oak Framed prints (Dhs650).