Floral Design Inspired By Art

On Friday I attended Art In Bloom at the North Carolina Museum Of Art. Wish you all could have been there.

West Building, NCMA, Raleigh, NC

This is the fourth year the museum has held this event in which floral designers are paired with art works from the museum’s collection through a drawing.  Their challenge is not to reproduce the art work, rather the designers seek inspiration from it. Some interpret literally, others are more abstract. Some focus on color, others on structure or texture. They all were able to create amazing designs for this show.

For the viewers each design is a fun puzzle to solve, scrutinizing the finished product against the piece of art to tease out which elements spoke to the florists.

There were over fifty designs in the show. Where to start? Well, a few friends have already posted their favorites from the show on various social media platforms and each person showed this entry. It was chosen by museum director Larry Wheeler for The Director’s Choice award.

Designer: Partha Daughtridge. Inspiration: Mary E. Goddard. Frank Duveneck.

There is no mistaking the drape and flow of the red gown. The verticality and proportions of the arrangement seem to capture perfectly that of the source art.

Closely look at the gloved arms. Or does this capture cap, face, neck, breast and gloves? More than that I admired the quality, choice and interplay of materials.

Designer: Partha Daughtridge. Inspiration: Mary E. Goddard. Frank Duveneck.

The theme is seamless from every direction.

Designer: Partha Daughtridge. Inspiration: Mary E. Goddard. Frank Duveneck.

What if in the art work lottery you had drawn this landscape painting to interpret? What flowers/foliage would you choose? What container? What scale?

Mono Pass, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. William Keith

Here is one designer’s interpretation.

Designer: Sarah Callahan. Inspiration: Mono Pass, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. William Keith

There is a play of light and shadow. I really love the white to lavender color shift of the delphiniums.

Designer: Sarah Callahan. Inspiration: Mono Pass, Sierra Nevada Mountains, California. William Keith

Given another inspiration, Diana + Actaeon by Paul Manship, what choices would you make?

Diana + Actaeon, Paul Manship

Separate containers. White callas and pink for Diana. Anthuriums on the right.

Designer: J. P. Clark. Inspiration: Diana + Actaeon, Paul Manship

View from the back. That is a lot of green tick dianthus, along with a few dozen Gerbera daisies massed together.

Designer: J. P. Clark. Inspiration: Diana + Actaeon, Paul Manship

The designer also used dendrobium and cymbidium orchids were  Does anyone know what the flower is in the upper right corner below? (Asking for a friend.) [Thanks Eliza for identifying the flower as red ginger (Alpinia purpurata).]

Designer: J. P. Clark. Inspiration: Diana + Actaeon, Paul Manship

It would be fun to design with the types of flowers used by the designer, for example, King Protea is amazing. And then there is the sheer quantity of materials–a few dozen roses of each color.

Designer: J. P. Clark. Inspiration: Diana + Actaeon, Paul Manship

This next work was created by several members from Raleigh’s Avant Gardeners Garden Club. Inspiration: Madonna and Child, Sienese School. The custom-made box container coordinates beautifully with the frame of the art.

Designer: Avant Gardeners Garden Club. Inspiration: Madonna and Child, Sienese School.

The materials in this design were striking with pristine Assumption lilies for the Madonna.

Assumption Lilies

For the infant, ranunculus—such a soft, pretty color.

Ranunculus

One of my favorites was this one by two designers, Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens, and inspired by this garden scene titled In the Greenhouse by John Henry Twachtman.

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

Designers incorporated an old greenhouse window for charm and seemingly to isolate foreground from background. I love the palette used in this section.

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

I will walk you around the display.

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

And back to the beginning. I really enjoyed the structure and color of this entry and found it engaging.

Designers: Meredith Watson and Leigh Dickens. Inspiration: In the Greenhouse, John Henry Twachtman

I see I will not have time today to show you my very favorites from the show. Perhaps later in the week we can revisit the show.

For now I leave you with an interesting one inspired by a work by Joseph Albers. Albers had taught at the Bauhaus in Germany. When the school was closed down under Hitler, Albers was invited to teach at Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He immigrated in 1933 bringing the Bauhaus style of teaching to the United States.

Designer: Vandy Bradow, Inspiration: Study for Homage to the Square: “Hight Spring,” Joseph Albers.

Designer Vandy Bradow did a masterful job capturing the greens and grays, as well as the lines and the sense of “looking through.”

Designer: Vandy Bradow, Inspiration: Study for Homage to the Square: “Hight Spring,” Joseph Albers.

 

24 thoughts on “Floral Design Inspired By Art

  1. tonytomeo

    Oh my! You see, THIS is why I do not work with flowers. I will happily grow anything, but I can not do floral design. It is too artistic! (This is the same reason I do not work with bonsai.) It is amazing that anyone could conceive such composition, and get it to be so appropriate for the art that it that it is associated with.

    Reply
  2. Kris P

    How wonderful this Art in Bloom exhibit is! Beautiful, intriguing and inspirational by turns. I can imagine the thought and consideration that went into each design. I’d have great difficulty to find fault with any of these creations. I look forward to seeing your favorites!

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Kris, you would enjoy this event in person, where you could study the art and the flowers and linger over favorites. Really is hard to convey the experience just through photos, but I will try to share a few more designs.

      Reply
  3. bittster

    The colors and form are all so wonderful, but my favorite by far is the last. I really like how it represents the original work and complements it so well!

    Reply
  4. Christina

    I love seeing your reports on this show. What a challenge. I’ll look forward to seeing your favourites. So far my favourite is your first one with the draped red dress. Very clever.

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      Some pieces of art would definitely be easier to use as a starting point than others. It’s fun to see how the designers rose to the challenges. I’ll try to show some more entries soon. I took over 400 pictures!

      Reply
      1. pbmgarden Post author

        I did. Went as soon as the museum opened before the crowds arrived and headed to the furthest back corner to begin moving through the show. That way I could take pictures without being in the way of others (and vice versa).

  5. Cathy

    This is really lovely Susie. I especially love the way the mountains have been recreated by the Delphiniums, with that mauve tinge. Such beautiful displays, and so much talent and imagination has gone into them! I look forward to seeing more! 🙂

    Reply
    1. pbmgarden Post author

      It’s a great concept to pair up the art works and floral designers. The designers were impressive this year. I’ll try to share some more of the show soon.

      Reply

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