Latifat Apatira is a plant enthusiast and artist. Raised in San Mateo County, California, she spent her youth exploring the expansive rural areas of the Peninsula. Her fascination with the natural world directly results from the wonders produced by observing the Peninsula’s oak woodlands, coastal scrublands, and redwood forests.
A few years ago, Apatira was introduced to Nature Printing, a process that combined her love for history, botany, and art. She encourages viewers of her art to cultivate an intentional awareness of the diversity of plants and explore the depth of their own personal connection to the botanical world.
As a second-generation, Nigerian-American, visibly Muslim woman, Apatira is proud to bring an element of diversity to the botanical art landscape. Since 2019, she has served the community through bespoke plant and garden print commissions. Her work has been exhibited at the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Redwood Shores Library. Her prints and writings have been published by the Parks Stewardship Forum and The Permanente Journal. She is a member of the international Nature Printing Society.
More of Apatira’s work can be viewed at www.titilayola.com or on Instagram @titilayola
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Plants can tell us stories. Using an ancient process called Nature Printing, artist Latifat Apatira uses plants to create charming botanical portraits that advocate for the slow reverence of creation. It involves making a “plant stamp” -- black ink is applied to respectfully foraged flowers and foliage. Apatira creates a composition and the plant’s living inked image is hand-pressed onto paper. Energy is then infused into each organic signature with watercolor.
Apatira’s artwork highlights a commitment to exposing “plant blindness,” a common cognitive problem in which people are unable to see the plants of their own environment. This problem leads to apathy for the thousands of plants that play indispensable roles in all our lives and planetary affairs. Apatira’s botanical prints questions urbanites’ worldview where plants are simply… ornamentation; appealing to the eye but invisible to everyday attention, and unlikely to be deeply contemplated or admired. Wilted from the remarkable perception they deserve. Stories unconsciously ignored.
Apatira’s nature prints highlight plant stories hidden in plain sight. Stories of beauty, intricacy, and mystery. Stories of color, texture, venation, pattern and function. Stories that showcase the extraordinary in “ordinary” leaves and flowers. With her art, Apatira encourages “plant vision” and welcomes us all to be curious, be inspired, notice and see.