If there’s one thing you should do this weekend, it’s head to Collingwood to experience the wonderful floral exhibition, Flowering Now!
After taking out the Floral Design award at this year’s TDF Design Awards, the immersive, collaborative floral installation is back for its second year, driven by two of Melbourne’s most creative florists, Melanie Stapleton of Cecilia Fox and Katie Marx of Katie Marx Flowers. Last year’s showcase was put together in just three weeks (!), and Katie and Melanie have the upped the ante in 2019, by introducing more florists and a special Saturday twilight session.
The idea for the original Flowering Now concept came about over an early morning market visit, when Mel and Katie began discussing the up-and-coming talent in their industry. Rather than being intimidated by the new generation of florists rising up through the ranks, Katie and Melanie were inspired to create an event that would showcase the industry as a united collective.
‘Katie and I really wanted to work on something that was inspiring and something different that didn’t happen in a flowering community already,’ says Melanie. ‘We really wanted to create a community, support them, and hope to change people’s ideas on what’s possible with flowers.’
This year’s exhibition brings together the work of 14 florists, in the lofty warehouse building that will soon become the S.O.S Sense Of Self bathhouse. Each florist has chosen a specific space in the building to transform using any floral and botanical material they wish.
It was important to Melanie and Katie that no brief be provided, in order for the event to feel separate from the florists’ everyday work. ‘We’ve decided to keep it theme-less, just purely because we always get a theme and a mood board [in our line of work] and we wanted to try and step outside of that,’ says Melanie.
This year’s Flowering Now is a ticketed event to support the business’s new scholarship fund in collaboration with Melbourne Polytechnic’s floristry course. ‘We’re working on a project where students can pitch an idea to us, which Katie and I will judge, and we’ll fund the winner to make a work at the next Flowering Now,’ explains Melanie.
Tickets are available in two-hour sessions, with an extra-long evening session happening on the Saturday night. This particular session will serve alcoholic beverages, snacks and include a performance from singer Sarah Mary Chadwick. ‘What we realised from last year is that people really just wanted to hang out in the space. It will be nice that you can grab a glass of wine or coffee this time,’ says Melanie.
In just one year, Flowering Now has successfully elevated Melbourne’s floral community to a new audience. Once considered perhaps a ‘daggy’ or ‘suburban’ profession, Katie and Melanie say florists are increasingly being recognised for their gruelling and creative work, which involves very early mornings, challenging materials, and many high-stress occasions!
‘When I first started being a florist it was not cool at all, but in the last five years or so, it’s really become a trendy job to have,’ says Katie. ‘People are now doing so much amazing work, that we sort of just wanted to celebrate that and give a voice to up and coming florists and people who are pushing a few boundaries.’
‘We’d love to see as many different people come and have a look what we do.’
Tickets to Flowering Now can be purchased here.
2019 florists: Azalea Flowers, Bloom Boy, Candy Mountain, Cecilia Fox, Feld Flowers, Flos Botanical, Georgie Boy, Glasshaus, Good Grace & Humour, Ive & Eve, Katie Marx Flowers, Pomp & Splendour, Poppy Culture, and Raven & The Rose.
Saturday October 12th – Sunday October 13th
Sense Of Self (SOS) Upstairs
30-32 Easey Street
Purchase tickets here.