International Demonstration – My Home Land
Report compiled by Eileen Wenn
I felt honoured and proud, along with the other 4 invited representatives from Pakistan, Belgium, Canada and Ireland to present the Demonstration ‘My Homeland’ on behalf of the Australian Floral Art Association at the 10th WAFA World Show, in Boston June, 2011. Mrs. Penny Horne of the WAFA US MC was the demonstration coordinator and she was very helpful with information and assistance over the many months of preparation.
Inspiration for my design, the contrasts and rich colour of our country, came very early and so it was a work in progress then to pull the elements together, with careful consideration of excess baggage and importation of our Australian Plant Material to Boston.
While I did try to seek some sponsorship of the Native Flowers and cheaper excess baggage rates, it was not forthcoming due to the economical climate. However the suppliers and AQIS were all very supportive and interested in assisting.
So with an aluminium frame weighing 7kgs, seven 2 metres 40 planks wound in Blue Gum coloured yarn weighing 13kgs, a box a dried Banksia, fresh Silver Princess gum and Cordyline Australis I arrived in Boston to find all boxes had been held over at Los Angeles for Security Checks. The boxes were delivered to the Seaport Hotel the next afternoon as promised by the airport staff.
Tropical Anthuriums, orchids, gingers, lucadendrons, roses and other flowers chosen for their contrast to our native material in texture and colour were purchased at the Boston Markets. Oasis USA kindly sponsored the Oasis requirements for this demonstration.
I made of power point of Australian Icons including each capital city, our wildflowers, animals and marsupials, beaches and landscapes to be screened during the demo with the music of artists Gurramul and Xavier Rudd who both feature indigenous sounds including didgeridoo in their music.
The three days of preparation was a special time to meet the other Demonstrators and share our friendship through floral designs.
“My Homeland’ Demonstration was a ‘sell out’ weeks before the show with Flower Arrangers from all over the world. With careful planing, preparation and the assistance of Dianne, I was confident and had fun presenting the Contrasts of our Land with stories to tell along the way. I felt happy and proud of the finished design and received many complements over the week.
I would like to thank the AFAA Members for their confidence in voting me as their representative for the demonstration at the World Show.
I sincerely thank the WA Floral Art Society for their financial support of $500 towards the costs to present the demo. This was much appreciated as the allowance given by WAFA US to the demonstrators to represent their country does not go close to covering the costs involved in staging a large scale stage design to fit an area 6ft x 6 ft.
Thanks to Dianne Buckles for her time and assistance for the demonstration, Jean Shine, my floral buddy for the fun times we had collecting and gathering our Australian Plant material at home and special thanks to my husband, Doug and my family for all their assistance to make props and the power point and their ongoing support of my passion for Floral Art.