Update: this talk will now take place as an online event only. In-person ticket holders will be contacted with more information.
World-renowned florist Paula Pryke has been at the forefront of London’s floral industry for decades. For this talk, Paula is joined by three up and coming florists to discuss their practice, inspirations and the challenges of breaking into floristry today.
On our panel of ones-to-watch: Kamil Szczepaniak – florist, artist and landscape designer, Marzena Joseph – Senior Floristry Teacher at London Flower School and Nari Yi – founder of London floral design studio Yinari.
Paula Pryke - Chair
Paula Pryke - Chair
Paula is a world renowned florist who has been based in London for nearly thirty years. In 1988 Paula had a dream of opening a little flower shop in Islington. From these humble beginnings she changed the face of British floristry and has become one of London's top florists.
Nature is what allows me to express myself artistically and I think art is the best way of living.
I believe in nature. I’m a florist, artist and a landscape designer.
I finished University of Environmental and Life Sciences where I studied Horticulture for two years and Landscape Architecture for three years. It allowed me to gain my knowledge of plants and flowers. After Horticulture and Landscaping I moved on to study at the Academy of Fine Arts which allowed me to see plants and flowers as a composition and a work of art.
I see various elements of nature as a painting or a sculpture.
I am most happy to put my ideas into reality using what I’ve learned and what I love.
Marzena has a strong background in floristry and has an educational background in Cultural Studies and the History of Art. Her experience in the industry began in a small independent flower shop, and over the last 10 years, she has held positions in a number of companies, such as Prewett Miller, Orchidia, Pot Pourri Flowers, and McQueens.
Marzena is an ikebana tutor, and she continues to train at the Sogetsu School of Ikebana in London.
Nari Yi is a South Korean florist based in Notting Hill, London. Growing up in the countryside in South Korea, foraging and picking wild flowers with her mother were intrinsic to her upbringing. This tradition of bringing nature home continues to influence her work to this day.
When she moved to London in 2013 she trained at established florists Jamie Aston and Moyses Stevens, and went on to work at Harper & Tom’s where she trained in the English Garden style. Here she continues to hone her style, mixing in elements of Korean aesthetics into her wild, seasonal arrangements.
In addition to her work at Harper & Tom’s, Nari has worked as a freelance florist, collaborating with photographers like Rala Choi, Taejun Keem and Jay lee and for brands like Noor Fares, Miller Harris, Uniqlo X JW Anderson and Natalie Tredgett. Recently, she foraged and styled Ikebana inspired wildflower arrangements for photographer Hugo Rittson Thomas’ 2020 book “Wild Flowers for the Queen.”
Yi likes to add interest to her arrangements by including quirky, unusual elements that catch the eye. This is a reflection on her experience as an Asian woman in London, often feeling like an outlier. She presents her unusual flowers not as a challenge, but as a reflection of herself. Floral design to Nari is a way of self-expression through constant experimentation and transformation. It’s a form of meditation and medication