Array of designs in floral theatre

Professional florist and floral art designer Francine Thomas, of Tauranga, with her design "Hands...
Professional florist and floral art designer Francine Thomas, of Tauranga, with her design "Hands Off" , made of tree branches threaded with gerberas and a coloured rubber gloves filled with gerberas suspended from the "tree". Photos by Helena de Reus.
Glass bubbles filled with a rose and LED light.
Glass bubbles filled with a rose and LED light.
Glass bubbles filled with roses are suspended from bleached willow branches threaded with jasmine...
Glass bubbles filled with roses are suspended from bleached willow branches threaded with jasmine, supported by decorated polystyrene posts.
One of Francine Thomas' designs created during the floral art theatre in Balclutha on Friday(May...
One of Francine Thomas' designs created during the floral art theatre in Balclutha on Friday(May 25) night. Pink flowers and ferns flow from diamonds made of magazines.

Floral art came to life on the stage in Balclutha last weekend with an event hosted by a North Island florist to celebrate 45 years of floral art in South Otago.

Flora lovers from all over the South gathered in the Balclutha War Memorial Hall on Friday to enjoy "Element of Surprise", the floral theatre presented by professional florist and floral art designer Francine Thomas, of Tauranga.

Ms Thomas has been involved with floral art for the past seven years.

She held her first floral art theatre in 2010, and also teaches, judges, and demonstrates floral techniques throughout New Zealand.

She brought with her most of the plant material required for the arrangements, including subtropical gerberas, cymbidiums, phalaenopsis, lilies and other highly coloured blooms and foliage.

Much of this was not common in Otago and Southland.

Other foliage was gathered by club members.

The designs also incorporated a variety of frames and materials.

The theatre featured 10 designs over two hours.

Ms Thomas demonstrated techniques involved with each design to a range of music and lighting.

Three young girls also took part in the theatre of the techniques.

Balclutha Floral Art Club president Allison Dempster said there had been great feedback from the public on the floral theatre event.

"It's always hard to explain floral art," Mrs Dempster said.

"A lot of people think it's only arranging flowers. Floral art is so much more than that.

"It's a chance to get creative with flowers, plants, and other materials."

Phyllis Beeby, a life member of the club and Balclutha's sole florist for many years, said she enjoyed the theatre.

The quality of the designs was high.

"I've seen floral art overseas, and Francine's designs were just something," she said.

Mrs Dempster said the club hoped to host Ms Thomas again later in the year.

helena.dereus@odt.co.nz

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