Class title: Anything Goes
Staging: on the floor 1 metre square base, height unrestricted, judged from front
As always when planning my designs, I write down my first impressions of the class title. In this case, I thought firstly of the song and musical of the same name (then couldn’t get it out of nmy head for days!) but I also thought of how the contemporary trends in floral art today seem to be that “anything goes”.
Knowing that most of the other exhibitors would go with the song/musical, I opted for a design that would be contemporary both in presentation and techniques used.
The support for this design is one of those essentials that I have gathered over the years. It is actually a standard lamp with the lamps removed. Made of solid metal giving it a very heavy base, the rod unscrews from the base and into three sections making it easy to transport as well as suitable for designs that are shorter than the full height used here. For this design I am using the full height to ensure my design is at least 1.5 times the base for visual balance.
The first part of staging this design is to attach a piece of thick twisted vine to the rod support. This is done with heay duty wire (I often using fencing wire since this is always available to me – I live on a farm). In a contemporary design the mechanics, such as wire, can be part of the design however for this one I will be covering them with plant material later on. The top of the vine is secured to the rod (which is hollow) by putting a long screw through the vine and then into the top of the rod. It gives the apprearance of the vine resting on top of the rod but also helps to hold it in place.
The vine is sufficiently twisted and wide to enable the completed design to fill out the 1 metre width and helps to keep this width through the full height of the design.
To cover the base of the stand I have created some spider webbing with paper covered wire (a contemporary technique) and this is repeated at the top of the design for balance and rhythm.
The focal point of this design is at the top so I need to make placements of plant material that will lead your eye up to this. The plant material reflects the twisting nature of the vine using agapanthus foliage and two varieties of lillies both with long stems that can be manipulated. Long pieces of naturally curled bark are place from the base to lead the eyes up to the focal point as well.
Both types of lillies would stay turgid (full of water) for the duration of this show thus not needing a water source. To ensure they did not leave any drip marks on the floor of the venue I have dipped the cut ends in wax – white to match the design but also to highlight that this has been done as it is another contemporary technique. The placement of this plant material at various angles and the attachment with decorative wire also highlights more contemporary techniques.
The focal area of banksia flowers and foliage is placed in test tubes (or vials) with a paperwire spider web coming across part of the plant material. From this is suspended a grouping of bark, lilly and seedpods that brings your eye back down to the base of the design ready to be brought up again by the rhythm of the bark placements at the base.
Judging feedback: A very different interpretation of the class title well executed. The only improvement could have been another placement of arum lilly(white) facing down from the top right hand side and the one below that turning in to the centre of the design a little more.