Monday, August 10, 2009
Sculpture and Ephemeral Art
Time Based Art is the buzz art concept these days.
Arranging flowers is the ultimate time based art. Because of the nature of the medium, no pun intended, you cant prepare anything too far in advance. I created all the flower arrangements, corsages, hair ornaments, etc for a friend's wedding. So for Saturday's wedding, I could only begin Friday at noon.
Ready, Set, Go!
Doing flowers really is a combination of sculpture and painting. You deal with composing the different shapes of flowers, foliage and vase, and the painting of color against color against color. Too much of any one thing, it looks dumpy. Not enough repetition of shape or color and it looks chaotic.
You work as fast as you possibly can to get everything done. But it's all in the details. I wanted to use some barberry foliage for its party colors of pink, cream, green and maroon to make the other colors pop. That meant the tedious clipping with a fingernail clipper of every thorn of each leaf cluster. There's enough symbolism in a wedding without the bride pricking her finger on a thorn.
I did the big arrangements first, leaving the most fussy time consuming tasks for last (not counting barberry clipping), when you are fried. Hot glue guns are dangerous when you're tired. Bells of Ireland faint where a stem was bent. Wedding party arriving in 90 minutes! You're cursing like a sailor trying to do the last minute additions, gluing flowers on a tiny plastic barette for the flower girl. And I failed to factor in the time required for transport and installation. Yikes.
How could I have so miscalculated (again) all the work and time involved in a time based art?
Somehow magic kicks in. Plenty of miraculous time appears. No traffic. A parking space right in front of the door. The tables dressed out quickly, the arrangements surrounded by fatsia leaves, bright orange and green chinese lanterns, sunflowers and candles. The bride is exquisite. The groom powerful. Do the young know how beautiful they are?
The stage was set for a wonderful evening. It was worth every moment.