Flowering artistry stems from nature
FLORISTS are like artists, says Vicki Kerr, who has been working with flowers for the past two decades.
Instead of photographs or drawings, florists prefer their art to come directly from nature, Kerr adds.
“We are designing pieces to be viewed and commented on, albeit temporary ones,’’ she says.
“We look to create arrangements that have movement in them so they are a pleasure to view, using different textures, shapes and combinations of flowers,’’ says Kerr, owner of The Flower Store in Darlinghurst.
Kerr has written her first book, Floral Alchemy out this month.
The book highlights how flowers combined with other aesthetic elements such as fabrics, wallpapers, vases, surrealist images and botanical illustrations can be used to decorate any space.
“I love that there are no rules in floristry. It is accessible to everyone, using anything we might have at our fingertips to create something beautiful to look at or evoke a conversation,’’ Kerr says.
She says working with flowers can be challenging and requires patience, tenacity and a keen artistic eye.
Floristry can also be polarising – everyone has different views and opinions on what an arrangement should look like.
But it is a very rewarding, career, says Kerr.
“I always had interest in flowers and did a course in floristry. I have been fortunate to work with very supportive people (like wellknown florist Susan Avery) and learn so much from them,’’ she says.
“So much of floristry is discovering and sourcing the materials you like to use. Being familiar with the markets and the growers is essential.
“For me, the most rewarding part is finding something fantastic to work with. It might be a beautiful architectural branch, or picking up a beautiful box of peonies … these beautiful surprises are a continual reward in floristry.”
Apart from understanding and keeping clients happy, Kerr says the other challenge for florists can be mother nature herself.
“We work with nature, so you are at the mercy of the weather,’’ she says.
“You always need to have a back-up just in case you get to the market and the hundreds of bunches of flowers you had ordered haven’t arrived.”
Florist Vicki Kerr enjoys tapping into her artistic side when arranging flowers.