Nature’s trend: floral artwork’s in bloom

At last, it’s Spring. But it’s not just the parks, fields and riversides that are bursting with nature’s bounty – there’s another field growing, in the worlds of contemporary art and flowers. And we’re not talking small plant pots arranged together in a thought-provoking way. Rather, in the case of Daniel Ost at least, we’re talking massive sculptures that blend luxurious European decoration along with hints of Asian minimalism. These works have appeared in palaces, temples and private homes and range from the beautiful (a six metre high column of decorative asparagus for a wedding) to the gothic – coral skeletons set in a landfill site.

“We’ve done table sculptures for a small dinner for $1000 but also elaborate installations for weddings for over $1m,” said Ost’s general manager and son in law Yann Callaert in the Financial Times’s How To Spend It this month.

kick off25

But it’s not just this Belgian artist who’s pioneering the trend. The new emerging wave of floral artists includes Australian Lisa Cooper, who was recently commissioned by the National Gallery of Australia and once created a crown for actress Cate Blanchett (though says she’s still happy to do the smaller commissions from around £50). Also there’s Antwerp based florist Mark Colle (featured in this Financial Times article: whose epic installations (images here © Emmanuel Crooÿ) see him using flowers to cover walls and carve out alleyways. Colle was invited earlier this year to create a series of conceptual installations at the Brussels Art Fair but doesn’t like to put himself in the contemporary art world box and has previously worked in fashion. Another hot floral artist talent is British creative Rebecca Louise Law. Unlike Cooper however Law refuses to make decorative arrangements, but instead, with a humorous nod to taxidermy, often incases her installations in glass, as well as taking resplendent photographs of her still life creations.

BRAFA 2016

Suffice to say there’s a rather sumptuous cross pollination going on in the mixture of floristry and contemporary art and Rebuck Law is keen to watch how it will develop. One thing’s for sure though, next time we’re having a party, organising an event or just decorating our house, we’ll consider installing something with petals, and not just paint.
BRAFA 2016