Floral Art Society of Pakistan
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Floral Art Society of Pakistan
Floral artistry at its best
Text by Faiza Ilyas, photographs by Safdar Vail
Featuring a stunning array of floral designs, the recently organised annual show of the Floral Art Society of Pakistan (FASP) named ‘Spirit of the East’, provided flower lovers with a rare opportunity to see local as well as foreign talent in floral art. Presenting elegantly decorated arrangements in eastern and western style, the exhibition was truly a marvellous display of creativity.
There were exhibits from as many as 16 countries including France, Germany, The Netherlands, US, UK, Australia, South Africa, Bermuda, Barbados, Canada and Italy. The visiting delegates were primarily here to attend a seminar, ‘As the Indus flows’, held prior to the show on the same day as a prerequisite for the 9th World Floral Show to be held in Pakistan in 2008. The last one was organised in 2005 in Yokohama, Japan.
Around one thousand delegates from around the world are expected to attend the grand event, an honour that Pakistan received after the country won the bid to host the World Association of Flower Arrangers (WAFA), a prestigious international body for floral art whose management is conferred upon a member country for a term of three years.
Coming back to the show, the first section comprised the displays of the visiting floral designers. Tastefully lined and created, all the exhibits, most of them were simple with minimum use of plant materials, had a wonderful contrast of flowers and foliage. Some designers had used indigenous plant materials as well as synthetic ones to depict images representing their countries, while others had just relied on the idea of creating a perfect arrangement, keeping in view the basic techniques of contrast, balance and harmony.
The different flowers and the foliage along with the accessories were blended in a way that they gave a feeling of a unified and complete design. That was the common thread between local and foreign floral designers.
The local participants had displayed their talents under six independent categories. The most exciting and remarkable was the one entitled calligraphy. The extraordinary exhibits under this category stole the show. The floral artists, with the help of different plant materials had ‘written’ many words such as Allah, Ali, God, Al-Nur, Allah-us-Samad and Alif laam Meem.
It was a commendable idea on the part of the organisers to choose the endangered mangroves as the theme of one of the categories, entitled ‘Mystical mangroves’. Tall mangroves stood just after the calligraphic exhibits, fascinating the visitors with the extensive use of treated wood, branches and leaves.
Next to this was the section based on exploring new frontiers, in which the floral artists were given quite a free hand. The section with various innovative exhibits was aimed to let the floral artists explore new horizons.
The other categories of ‘Changing rhythms’, ‘Magic of colour’ and ‘Tropical exuberance’, also consisted of breathtaking exhibits. Using orchids, birds of paradise, anthiriums, dry palm leaves of various species, chrysanthemums, lilies, carnations, aspidistra leaves, gerbera, and a variety of other ornamental flowers and plant materials, indigenous as well as imported, the artists had created splendid floral arrangements.
In short, the exhibition, as one visitor commented, was an admirable effort to promote flower culture, exchange ideas, strengthen friendships among countries, and last but not least, to enjoy the pleasure of producing a perfect work of art.