This year our Holiday Gift Sets are wrapped in a beautiful sleeve, decorated with unique artwork by acclaimed artist James Merry.
James Merry is a visual artist originally from the Gloucestershire in the United Kingdom. He has been based in Iceland for over a decade and works from a small cabin studio by Hafravatn, a picturesque lake fifteen minutes outside of Reykjavík. All his beautiful and intricate work is done by hand in a variety of mediums.
“Although I usually describe myself as an embroidery artist, but my output incorporates other mediums – such as metalwork, silversmithing, mask making, illustration and digital design. I am primarily known through my frequent collaborations with Björk over the past 12 years, as a co-creative director on her visual output, but I have also worked with other institutions over the years, such as the V&A Museum, Iris Van Herpen, Tilda Swinton, Gucci, Tim Walker and The Royal School of Needlework.”
When creating the artwork for the BIOEFFECT Holiday Gift Sets, James drew inspiration from his visit to our Greenhouse where we grow the barley plants. The intricate pattern weaves out from the BIOEFFECT signature green stripes, taking shapes and swirls inspired by the barley plants and EGF protein itself.
“I was incredibly inspired by the depth of science behind BIOEFFECT, and it was amazing to witness the whole magical process involving the barley plant. After that visit, I knew I wanted my design to somehow reflect all these aspects: to create something otherworldly with its roots in science, incorporating both the barley plant and the logo, and the micro- and macroscopic.
I started by researching the EGF protein in some detail and was instantly drawn to its physical microscopic structure. It reminded me of ribbons and threads, so as a textile artist that was obviously very appealing. A lot of my work focuses on the process of transformation, trying to capture the moment of metamorphosis. So, I decided I wanted these protein ribbons to grow out of the logo, transforming into silvery barley at their tips. After sketching this out, I began testing the design with embroidered green threads - and added metallic silver details by hand, until the finished design emerged.”
James first came to Iceland in 2009 because of his work with Icelandic singer Björk and gradually ended up spending more and more time here. “Eventually it began to feel like home, so I made the move permanently and this has been my home and workplace ever since. Living in Icelandic nature gives me so much joy and peace, I don't think I will ever live anywhere else.”
By his own admission, James has always been quite bad at maintaining a good skincare regime but that greatly improved when he moved to Iceland. “I started going to the swimming pool every day and included skincare into that routine. I usually prefer products that are simple and pure, with as few ingredients as possible, which is why I love using BIOEFFECT alongside other very clean and organic basics such as rosewater and rosehip seed oil. The EGF Serum is an absolute unbeatable classic, but recently I have been loving the EGF Essence. It's deceptively brilliant, I use it as a toner after cleansing and it creates such a nice soft base to put other serums or moisturizers on top.”