FleurAmour is an annual mega event for the floral world. It was the 20th anniversary of this happening hence the title FleurAmour 20 – in case you were like me thinking that it was intended to be FleurAmour 2015 on the header image and the “15” has just fallen off, no, it is supposed to be just “20”.
This event takes place in an old castle where dozens of indoor and outdoor spaces are decorated by professional florists and students. Lots of live demonstrations, shows, workshops… In one day I have seen more flowers and florists than I could handle 🙂 Jokes apart, I never expected to say that there are too many flowers. I suppose over the years Ikebana’s idea of the effective use of flowers and the minimalist view of “Less is More” has made some irreversible changes to my brain.
Apart from the overwhelming quantity of flowers, I have enjoyed the event greatly. So in the spirit of open-mindedness and focusing on the endless learning opportunities between the Eastern and Western floral art I went wondering through the Alden Biesen castle in Belgium.
A couple of themes I have found particularly interesting and somewhat enlightening at FleurAmour. First the shapes: the good old round shape still seems to be the most harmonic and self sufficient. In the crowds of all possible sizes, colors and forms clean round shapes stood out quite distinctly.
This year’s decoration of the castle’s church was done by Stijn Simayes. He was also giving live demonstrations with explanations and a bit of small talk and jokes in 3 or 4 languages. You might love or hate jokes like “there are only 2 types of men: smart and married” but it did cause some multilingual laughter. What I really appreciated is his openness and down to earth approach. For example those large circles used in the decoration of the castle’s church are actually from an old kids’ trampoline. Those who follow me on the facebook know that I appreciate up-cycling and particularly using old useless stuff to create art. Another interesting and fresh element in this installation was the use of green aquatic plants floating on the water surface.
The second theme I enjoyed was the use of flower scents. Not all flower varieties are equally fragrant, especially those industrially grown. Therefore when you walk into a room filled with scent of roses you just wanted to stay there. I did spend quite some time going around this installation.
There was another installation with lavender made by Russian artists from Siberia. Lavender was arranged on top of a wire mesh, which gave sufficient shame but at the same time made the arrangement look floating and very much in tune with the fragrance. And yes, it was tempting to smell the arrangement. And a lot of visitors did.
And the final unexpected discovery of the FleurAmour 20: there was a booth of a neuroscientist from Australia. Yes, yes, there are people who study how human brain responds to flowers. For sure I want to find out more about it and share with you in one of the next posts. In short: there was a selection of different Gerbera flowers on display and visitors were voting on the website during the event for their favorite ones. You could see lights flashing above each flower when somebody clicked on the on-line picture of this particular flower. The most popular one was this white and red Gerbera:
The reason? Apparently humans like contrast. Hmmm, something to keep in mind for the next arrangement.