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Earthly Connections

This floor design, staged on a supplied base 7cm from the floor, 1 m square and 2m high was to be in the “contemporary” style. It was judged from the front and sides.

I have some difficulty with the difference between “modern” designs and “contemporary” designs so I have included here the definitions of both from the Australian Floral Art Association (AFAA) Manual.

Modern – A tailored design using a minimum of material with strong impact. It has one centre of interest coinciding with the point of emergence from the container. The few but significant pieces of good quality, clear cut plant material should be chosen to create height (or width) and interesting spaces, contrasts of form and texture, also rhythm. Some plant material needs to harmonise and unify with the container.

Contemporary – This is a design “of the current period” and is judged on the basis of what are the current design trends. Trends are set by individual designers worldwide allowing the exploration of new concepts, innovation and using plant material for its design qualities rather than horticultural merits.

Now back to the exhibit – Earthly Connections. I decided to use horticultural material that had some obvious connection with the earth.

Earthly ConnectionsA large section of gum tree trunk is the structural support for a branch of flowering banksia. Across the top of the tree trunk is a palm spathe holding orchids, ferns, lillies and wheat (the theme of this Show was Year of the Farmer). Draped over the palm spathe is a long section of bark.

I thought this was a contemporary design by its use of the horticultural material to design the exhibit (the tree trunk and banksia). However, I have muddied the water by throwing in some modern techniques – bundling etc, so it has become a hybrid between the two styles.

No placing for this exhibit and no judges comments, although I think they would have been about the confusion of design styles.


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