Class title: Colourful Creations
Staging: floor design, 1 metre sqaure, height unrestricted, judged from front and sides, contemporary
My idea was to have the design look like a colour burst – as though the colours were being created in a cloud and dropping down flowers to the base.
This was a design that came together on the day from various elements I had thought about but not tested. This is not an approach I recommend – I actually ran out of time and failed to bench another design in this competition.
The base is one of my all purpose heavy duty ones – a large slice of gum tree with a copper rod inserted to a height of about 1 metre. I have made a hole in the palm spathe into which this rod was inserted to give some strength and stability to the spathe so it could be freestanding. This was the first challenge as the spathe kept spinning sideways to balance itself. I resorted to heavy gauge decorative (heritage) wire to hold it in place, curling the ends so that it became part of the design.
On top of the spathe I have placed a wonderful dried spent inflorescence (flower head) from a palm. It has been wrapped in multicoloured wool as have the spheres suspended from it. Bundles of spear grass have also been wrapped at various points along their length and four of these are joined as an abstract “frame” in the centre of the design. Purple statice has been placed in the spheres and the top section of the design with flax threaded randomly through the top section.
At the base of the design is another sphere from which a single strelitzia stem emerges. Behind this and from inside the base of the spathe are two more strelitzias and some leucospermum foliage. My choices of plant material were to highlight the bright, bold bursts of colour we can use to create our designs.
Judging feedback: The judge said he just looked at it and felt the colours all swirling round, being mixed together and bursting out. Exactly what I had in mind!!
The design that won this class was a perfectly executed one – not a mechanic out of place, every cable tie facing exactly the same way, every piece of wire neatly finished off. It is vitally important when competing at any level to get your mechanics perfect – it can mean all the difference to the outcome.