Paper flowers join 60ft garland in Cotehele display
Grand old houses have grand old traditions – and one of the most visually impressive is the giant annual Christmas garland which appears each year in the Great Hall at Cotehele, on the River Tamar in Cornwall.
But this year the garland is bigger and more special than ever – because the 60-foot flower display will also feature a giant collage of thousands of cut-paper flowers in an art installation commissioned by the National Trust to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.
It has been designed by artist Dominique Coiffait to mark Armistice Day tomorrow.
The traditional garland, which will remain in the Great Hall until January, is made up of more than 30,000 flowers planted at the property in spring. Trust gardeners chose the plants to be predominately red, white and blue in order to be a fitting memorial for the First World War.
The artwork which will join the garland is a huge frieze of more than 20,000 cut-paper flowers, designed by Dominique to bring a new element to the commemorations.
Dominique said: “It feels relevant. We use floral tributes to honour our dead – we place flowers on a grave and poppies at the foot of a war memorial – yet they are also symbols of fertility, renewal and awakening.”
Dominique has been making visits to sketch plants at Cotehele’s garden throughout the seasons. He then carved lino blocks and printed the flowers in different colours. Each printed flower was cut out by hand – a mammoth task undertaken by Cotehele’s visitors and volunteers throughout the year.
“As well as sketching, Domi- nique has also been taking inspiration from items loaned and shared by the community for centenary remembrance exhibitions at Cotehele for the past four years,” a trust spokesman said. “Postcards and other objects have been interwoven.”
The commemoration garland will be on display from November 10 to January 6.
The floral display has been designed by artist Dominique Coiffait to mark Armistice Day. The cut-paper flowers were created by Cotehele visitors and volunteers