There are artists using plants and flowers as their medium and who are challenging our notions of floral ‘arranging’ and design. These are the new wave, at the cutting edge of floral artistry. These are the Floral Engineers and they are yielding exciting results as they harness nature and manipulate cut flowers in to the architecture of their designs.
We have featured fashion's favourite Thierry Boutemy both in our Floral Couture & Flowerland blogs. Now we bring you two more Floral Engineers.
Makoto Azuma, owner of Jardins des Fleurs now located in Minamiaoyama, Tokyo exhibits his pieces internationally, but his shop still sustains the essence of his craft and his ethos that flowers are gifts and should be treated accordingly.
Makoto Azuma’s ‘shop’ somewhat resembles a laboratory yet it doesn’t render his processes clinical. It seems to emanate the ultimate in care and respect for nature.
Makoto Azuma says “Ultimately I have respect for plants. Plants can lead me, and vice versa. I believe I should be at the same place in the same direction as plants are. Also I’ve been managing a field for growing seasonal flowers and plants for 4 years. I think it’s very important to grow plants. Of course I do create works using the plants I grow. I think a great deal about the distance between plants and myself. I want to accept plants and want plants to accept me. So I’ve been farming as a spiritual place to train myself.”
Here are a selection of Azuma’s creations and exhibitions from his career so far as he continues his forays into experimental botany and blurs the boundaries between art and science.
Daniel Ost, the second Floral Engineer we have been exploring has a floral emporium located on the Rue Royale in Belgium. Ost’s exuberant arrangements and installations often appear other wordly as if they have ‘landed’ on our planet and subverted nature.
Ost has been nicknamed The Bridge for his ability to blend Eastern and Western styles and sensibilities throughout his international exhibitions.
Ost says “In the West we use flowers in a purely decorative way, but in Japan they work with the flowers’ soul to express not just beauty but ideas like death”, hence his recent interest in the decay of plants as he himself grows older.
Ost regards himself as a bloembinder, derived from an old Flemish word. Ost says “It’s a word that’s hard to translate. It refers to what you do to bind flowers together, but it’s not like ‘florist’ in English of ‘fleuriste’ in French. It’s much more beautiful than that.”
As the Flower show season opens up here in the UK heralding the start of Summer, we will continue to bring you new innovations both in Landsculpting and Floral engineering.
The Floral Engineers SourceBook: NY Times Makoto Azuma, Colossol, Thierry Boutemy, Park and Cube, Shift, Sky my Limit, Trender, Hc Gardens, Klaus Leidorf, Ziplevel, Jardins des Fleurs, Botanemy.