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Flower Show And Design Competition For Wellington

EMBARGOED UNTIL Saturday 17th August.

Major New Annual Flower Show And National Floral Art And Design Competition Announced For Wellington.

The Worlds of Wellington Trust, the organisation which presented the highly successful ‘Diana’s Dresses’ Exhibition, has with the support of the Flower Promotion Trust of New Zealand initiated a long over due event which recognises the creativity of the nation’s professional and amateur floral artists and designers.

Flora! Flora! 2002 is a three day floral extravaganza, open to the public and will be held at Government House the official residence of the Governor-General of New Zealand.

Featuring the best of New Zealand’s leading professional and amateur floral designers and artists, the event which runs from Labour Weekend’s Saturday to Monday this year, includes exhibition, demonstrations in design and technique, a new annual professional and amateur competition with an inaugural national award programme, a dinner and award presentation ceremony. Visitors will also be entertained by the best in music from this year’s Wellington International Jazz Festival which is on in the capital at the same period and other musicians resident in the City. Flora! Flora! will be totally under cover in huge marquees, with walkways and a cafe situated on the lawns and bordered by the spring gardens of Government House.

International floral artists representing a number of countries will also display their respective national styles designs reflecting their own cultural and ethnic elements and adding a unique global perspective to the occasion.

Flora! Flora! has been designed as an annual icon event for the Capital and will see the net proceeds from the admission to the event charged by the Trust go to deserving New Zealand Charities. Trust Chairman Phil Sprey states, ‘Like many events we at the Trust have brought to Wellington, we endeavour to assist charity organisations who are finding fund-raising a progressively harder task.‘ ‘In this, first year of Flora! Flora! we are, with the approval of Government House, supporting the Crippled Children Society and will seek other deserving recipients in the future.’

Competing florists, floral artists and designers, from leading organisations societies and groups will be creating their entries under the gaze of the public who will be able to see the craftsmanship and talent we have in the country up close. Students and educators from our leading institutions of design will be displaying their abilities as well.

The Worlds of Wellington Trust and the Flower Promotion Trust have made entry into the competition FREE to all qualifying floral artists and designers and with the three day long weekend expect that the maximum of 150 places available to participate will go fast. The overall best of show award will see the winner invited to attend a major European Floral Event in the spring of 2003.

Flora! Flora! 2002 is supported and sponsored by: New Zealand Professional Florist Inc., Floramax Flower Auctions, United Flower Auctions (UFA), Interflora Pacific Unit Ltd.
Teleflora, Flower Promotion New Zealand, Floral Art Society of New Zealand, The Radio Network, Stagecoach, Wellington City Council- Arts and Cultural and Community Festival Committee and Totally Wellington.

Also: Embassy of the Netherlands and the Dutch Floral Industry and four other members of the Diplomatic Community in Wellington.

Phil Sprey
for Worlds of Wellington Trust.

Supplementary Copy:


Unlike any other ‘flower show’, Flora! Flora! 2002 is focused on the art form and not the commercial ‘gardening and lifestyle’ exhibitions that have become the norm in recent times.

Flora! Flora! is about the talented world of floral art and design, a strong a legitimate art-form that has a long and proud tradition, yet doesn’t receive the public accolades it truly deserves. History shows that floral art organisations in New Zealand were some of the first societies and groups formed in towns and cities nationwide, many having their roots in the fondness of the ‘colonials’ to retain the links and essence of the ‘English country garden’ of the mother country.

Over the years the numbers of these organisations and total membership have grown and while some were broad in their nature others focused on particular blooms such as orchids or roses just to name a couple. Generally however this ‘army’ of floral enthusiasts have remained largely anonymous.

For over 150 years there have been ‘flower shows’ in New Zealand while some of these are from the gardening perspective and the promotion of new species etc others quite definitely revolved around the way both native and introduced flowers were arranged, displayed and how this legitimate art form features in the day to day life of our population. Unfortunately many of the purist floral art shows and competitions have gradually become gardening or trade shows or become part of home and garden productions. The result has been detrimental to the art of floral design which has become a casualty of the commercial success of the gardening show. Flora! Flora! is a refreshing and welcomed lifeline to floral art in New Zealand.

Flowers are the only medium that is universally recognised as a purely natural way to exhibit emotion, impart a sentiment and provoke a reaction. The new millennium has offered lateral and innovative thinking in how using flowers as an exhibition art mechanism can be created. Whether it is a retrospective and traditional revival or the use of 21st century materials to compliment design, today’s floral artists are enthusiastic hobbyists and total professionals. Their floral canvases are vibrant and exciting and deserve recognition. Flora! Flora! is for the artist and the designer and for the public who can appreciate the calibre of creativity and wonderment that the world of flowers offer.


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