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Contrasts of Nature | Interpretive Floral Design

The floral art group to which I belong (New South Wales Floral Art Association Inc. in Australia) has used conducted a number of competitions recently where interpretive designs have featured. This Class was titled “Contrasts of Nature”.

By definition from our Manual an interpretive design “translates or conveys a message about the designer’s feelings of the subject title. Plant material chosen for the elements of design is uppermost in conveying the message.”


Contrasts of Nature

My design is made on a metal wall frame (for candles) screwed to a section of wood as the base. I was keen to have as many contrasts of nature in texture, colour, shape, size as possible without it appearing to be too much of a collage.

The frame is partly covered by coloured unspun wool with a piece of bark threaded horizontally through the frame.

Each of the candle cups has a small grouping of plant material – one has a passionfruit with jonquil flowers (two strong aromatic plants in contrasting colour), a shell with flowering succulents (water and no water), sliced cork with dried statice (colour when dry contrasts).

A test tube covered in a striped smooth leaf contains some kangaroo paw and banksia foliage (contrasts even in our local native flora). The base is covered with a banksia flower set in “pancake” succulents and an apple is studded with casuarina seedpods to complete the design.


The design was awarded a Highly Commended. The judge was concerned that the frame tilted backwards and this detracted from the design when she was judging. Another timely reminder to test your design completely before staging it – one of the screws fell out during transport and I had no time to replace it before judging!


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