WAFA Barbados 2017 – In High Spirits

This was the second design I staged for the WAFA World Flower Show hosted in Barbados in 2017. My first choice of design was Archipelago which you can see and read about by clicking here.

Having the opportunity to stage a second deign was something of a double edged sword. Exciting on the one hand but full of challenges as well. I was really intrigued by the staging – a large timber barrel – so hoped this would inspire some new styles of designs, mine included. As I was also part of a 2 person team to stage the honorary Australian exhibit, there was a lot of planning to do.

My first reaction to the title, given the staging, was a party. This is a place of “high spirits” both on a people level as well as an alcoholic level. Additionally I wanted to use Australian native flora as I would already have this on hand for my other floral activities at this Show.

So, bright bold colours and plant material – a mix of local and Australian flowers to acknowledge the “high spirits” of this occasion.

The structure is a wire dome (for technique click here) covered with green washi paper, secured to a piece of timber covered with a floral foam base. The concept is a fruit/rum punch bowl exploding with “high spirits”. There are pink sisal covered cane spirals coming out from the bowl as well as paper curliques (for technique click here) across the base as the “spilled” liquid from the bowl.

A combination of Australian native flora (banksias) is used with some locally purchased tropical flowers – ginger, crab claws, strelitzia. In fact these were bought at the local supermarket for about a tenth of the price I would have paid at home! A good tip when you are competing away from home is to research what might be easily available. This was incredibly important when all the competitors who had ordered plant material for their designs were left waiting for 3 hours as the delivery was delayed by a hurricane warning…..

Judges Comments: A lively interpretation with good techniques displayed. We appreciated the combination of local and other flora, however one of the larger ginger flowers is leaning too far forward and makes the whole design appear off balance. In these competitions it is vital to ensure every part of your design follows the principles and elements of design above your interpretation of the title.

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