While the Garden Museum is closed, we are taking the opportunity to reach out across the world and bring inspiring garden experts to you through our online events.
This week we are heading to New York to visit Emily Thompson.
Described as a ‘fleuriste sauvage’, Emily Thompson’s style is informed by her background as a sculptor and rebels against traditional flower arranging. Emily’s floral displays are full of spectacle and contradiction, and emphasize the wild and the uncultivated.
This in-conversation between two world renowned florists will take a closer look at their inspirations, their aspirations and the ways in which Constance Spry has influenced both their own work and floristry as a whole.
Emily Thompson was raised in the Northeast Kingdom, Vermont, a place of uncompromising beauty. She brought her sense of this place, its ruins and its wilds, to her work as an artist, traveling from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the University of Pennsylvania, to UCLA, where she earned her MFA in sculpture, finally landing in New York City. Here, she fell in with a rough crowd of thorny brambles and made it her mission to bring them to light.
Emily likes to cite William Gilpin, 18th century theorist of the picturesque, who directed builders of follies and artificial ruins to do so as if these ruins were not designed but naturally chosen. What’s more, writes Gilpin, they must be in magnificent style. Emily’s work, like her ideal faux ruin, evokes nature in magnificent style.
Floral designer Shane Connolly champions the use of seasonal British Grown Flowers and has written five books. The latest title, “Discovering the Meaning of Flowers”, explores the symbolism and language of flowers.
Shane designed the flowers for the Marriage of TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall in 2005, and again for the Wedding of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2011. He proudly holds a Royal Warrant of Appointment to both HRH The Prince of Wales and HM The Queen.