Classical With A Twist

“A Contemporary Design. To be staged on supplied base 1m square raised 75mm from the floor with attached backing 2m high, coloured grey. No attachments to backing. Viewed and judged from both front and sides.”

I have included the actual wording from the competition schedule to give you a start in thinking about how you would interpret this class. The dilemma, of course, is that the word “classical’ is used in the title BUT it needs to be a contemporary design.

For me, this means that I should have an obviously traditional (classical) design in the use of staging and plant material placements with some sort of contemporary “twist” to the overall look of the design, remembering that “contemporary” for this competition judging would focus on techniques that are popular in the present day (2022).

The structure at the back is the upright from a photo backdrop frame so I can adjust the height to suit these larger floor based designs. At the very top is a cylinder of wire mesh holding two lengths of fabric with the same pattern but different colour schemes. The top cylinder also has some woolly bush in a traditional radial placement.

On either side of the back structure are two containers – one a more traditional large ceramic vase which actually has a twist to its shape and the other a more contemporary metal stand with one of the supports reflecting the twist of the class title.

The ceramic vase has palm leaves, woolly bush, strelitzia and lillies once again in a radial placement design reflecting the colours of the fabric feeding in to it. The design on the metal stand reuses part of the design for Global Warming (click here for details) with the addition of some craspedia and tatamied palm inflorescence.

In between theses two designs are some slices of banksia with more of the tatamied palm inflorescence.

This design placed third.

Judges comments: The background fabric (black) and stand should use more of the space to enable the front of the design to stand out more. Proportion of plant material could be improved.

My comments: I was not happy at all with this design at the time of staging. It came at the end of an overnight 7 hour staging session and I guess my flower brain was not at its best! I was very surprised to get a placing as I have lots of issues with this design – for my part I feel it just doesn’t look cohesive, nothing brings it together. Perhaps if I had used something on the base underneath all the components that would have helped because, to me, it looks like a collection of items waiting to be placed!

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