Córdoba, 25nd September 2017.- The city of Córdoba (Spain) will held from 20th to 29th October the first edition of the International Flower Festival, FLORA, a unique and remarkable event in Spain and in the world which will bring together the best international and national artists in this field to intervene –each of them with their exclusive and individual hallmark- in eight institutional patios in the city. Overall, eight spectacular and ephemeral floral installations will be created for the event and they just could be visited for free during those days.
In this way, FLORA, International Flower Festival presents an unprecedented cultural exchange between such a traditional space as the patios of Córdoba and such a contemporary and surprising art as the one of floral installations, a kind dialogue between tradition and innovation meant to become a must within the Spanish cultural agenda.
In this first edition, eight guest artists are participating: Alfie Lin (China), Flores Cosmos (Mexico), In Water Flowers (UK), Isabel Marías –under the artistic name of Elisabeth Blumen- (Spain), Loose Leaf (Australia), Natasha Lisitsa & Daniel Schultz (USA), Patrick Nadeau (France) and Tomas de Bruyne (Belgium).
Each of them will intervene in one of the eight institutional patios selected for the occasion: Palace of Orive, Posada del Potro, Archaeological Museum, Vimcorsa, Bullfighting Museum, Office of the Department of Tourism, Municipal Archives and Antonio Gala Foundation.
The patio assigned to each artist, the jury and other news will be revealed during the press conference to present the festival, which is going to be held in Córdoba on 28th September.
FLORA is also born to acknowledge the work of the best floral artist worldwide, an artistic universe still unknown for many people and lacking, until now, a prize of international importance. Three big prizes, awarded by an international jury and worth €60,000, €40,000 and €20.000 respectively, will place this festival, held in a city having such a close connection to the floral world as Córdoba, in the international sphere.
The characteristic festival prize is being designed by the prestigious Spanish jewellery brand Gold & Roses, widely linked to the art world and to locally and traditionally manufactured art .
Furthermore, the most renowned representative of the contemporary botanic drawing participated in the creation of the official poster: Katie Scott. The British illustrator prepared an exclusive floral composition from several common flowers in her book Botanicum (2016).
Once the artists have been selected, the countdown starts to enjoy FLORA, a festival born from the private initiative of Zizai Hotels, S.L. and co-organized by Córdoba City Hall, aimed to boost the city, i.e. having a positive impact on tourism, economy and art. The event also expects to involve the city itself, first of all, the general public and both local and international agents, bringing up Córdoba as a reference in the world scene of contemporary floral art.
Next autumn all culture enthusiasts will have a unique opportunity to discover an almost unprecedented art in Spain and a star appointment to be seduced by the incomparable charm and beauty of the patios of Córdoba.
BIOGRAPHIES OF THE EIGHT ARTISTS IN FLORA
For Alfie Lin, flowers not only afford beauty from a visual perspective, but also a profound emotional experience. Renowned in the floral art world for his marvellous work at Fuchun Resort in Hangzhou, he has also worked for labels such as Fendi, Dior, Loewe, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany. One of his most highly internationally acclaimed pieces is Forest Bus, a bus that was turned into an authentic “mobile forest”, which managed to bedeck the streets of Taipei, literally and metaphorically, in Nature. In 1998 he created his business, CNFlower. He has been chosen as “Man of the Year” by GQ magazine China.
Alberto Arango (City of México, Mexico, 1980)
Ramiro Guerrero (Toluca, Mexico, 1979)
Ten years ago, in Barcelona, they had a vision of returning to Mexico to make a radical change in their lives: opening a florist’s. At FLORA, having by now become a benchmark for floral art in Latin America, they return to Spain to bring a marvellous circle to a close, as they have asserted. Their signature style features experimentation in shapes, colours and materials. They work with flowers as they could with any other material: what they do is pure sensitivity, artistic vision and creative boldness. They dream of setting up a floral installation at the Sculpture Space in the UNAM, in the forest of Kyoto or on the moon.
In Water Flowers
Their intervention at the National Gallery in London in June 2016 showed thousands of people from around the world how far a floral installation can go: the only limits are the artist’s imagination and creativity. With more than 26,000 flowers (tulips, peonies, carnations, freesia, calla lilies and roses) they reproduced a small painting by Flemish painter Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, turning it into a 35-square meter installation. Robert Hornsby, creative director of the firm founded in 1999 with Claire Garabedian, started out in the world of flowers driving a delivery van (quite often rearranging the flowers he was supposed to deliver). Today he is one of London’s boldest flower designers.
Isabel Marías (Elisabeth Blumen)
(Madrid, Spain, 1978)
She studied Fashion Design at the Escuela Superior de Diseño de Madrid and was fully devoted to fashion for several years, designing her own collection and working for designers such as Matthew Williamson, Juan Duyos and Sybilla. Yet she felt something was missing: flowers. She opened her first florist’s in 2010 and, under her signature Elisabeth Blumen line, currently works for labels and institutions such as Loewe, Balenciaga, Repsol, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, the Sorolla Museum, MNCARS and Microsoft. She has been the creative director of LOEWE Flores since 2016. Her surprising colour combinations are part of her personal hallmark, which also features the concept of delicacy.
Wona Bae (Muahn, South Korea, 1976)
Charlie Lawler (Hobart, Australia)
When Wona and Charlie met in Germany – she was taking a Master’s course in floristry and he was working at the United Nations – the floral art world gained a pair of artists determined to introduce nature into our lives. Their “botanical design” studio, in a former warehouse in Melbourne, is a magical place for natural experimentation. Everything Loose Leaf creates is a result of observation of Nature. Beyond their famous “Monstera chandeliers”, those marvellous hanging installations of monsters and palm tree leaves that have made them so highly acclaimed, Charlie and Wona’s proposals always encourage us to reconnect with Nature.
Natasha Lisitsa & Daniel Schultz (Waterlily Pond)
Colouristic, cheerful and with a taste for the stunning, Natasha Lisitsa and Daniel Schultz, a couple from the United States, have filled more than 1500 weddings and other events with flowers and have created floral installations at museums such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the de Young Museum. Their large-scale work is particularly impressive (some of their installations have weighed up to 1000 kg). Natasha, an engineer by training, contributes her knowledge of flowers in creating lively, intense stories (her style has been described as “exuberant ikebana”), while Daniel, an architect, is inspired by modern art and architecture to create new spaces and surprising structures.
(La Rochelle, France, 1955)
The work of this architect with a passion for plants and flowers falls under the label of “vegetal design”. He is also known for his teaching work, as research lecturer at the ESAD de Reims where he created the first vegetal design studio in an art school in Europe. His installations mix material from nature with artificial elements, endeavouring to introduce the natural element into our lives (he designs wonderful pots and stands for interior plants). Contemporary Art Foundation, Elle Déco, Hermès and Kenzo-Parfums are a few of his customers. He has been artistic director of the French firm, Laorus, since 2016.
Tomas De Bruyne
(Bruges, Belgium, 1970)
Boasting a long list of awards in floral art competitions, he also participates as a panel member. In addition to his work as a floral artist, he is an outstanding instructor and has published important work in the world of flowers. In 2013, he created and patented his own variety of Gloriosa lily, or climbing lily: Gloriosa Tomas De Bruyne. For this reason, and because of how spectacular, though also delicate, his work typically is, he is one of the best-known floral artists on the international scene.