Bouquet of the Week: Urban Decay and a Banksy Bouquet
As part of our recurring Bouquet of the Week series, Garden Collage continues to present a weekly inspirational bouquet that incorporates intriguing new elements into the traditional practice of flower arranging. This week, Garden Collage Copy Editor Taylor Morgan styles a Banksy Bouquet honoring street art and one of its most iconic images.
I was first introduced to street art in Berlin, as I posed for a picture next to the work of Miss Van, who is revered for initiating the feminine street art movement. The following year I watched a film called Exit Through The Gift Shop and became enamored with the political activist and faceless, England-based, graffiti artist known as Banksy. One of my favorites among his ongoing series is a piece referred to as the “Flower Thrower”, which I aimed to recreate for my inaugural Bouquet of the Week.
“Flower Thrower” depicts an image of a man throwing a bouquet as if it were a granade; the man is painted in black and white while the flowers in his bouquet are brightly-colored blooms with stems protruding. I was immediately drawn to it and began to research Banksy’s intention for this piece, discovering that this painting was designed to recall the 1960’s Berkeley Riots, as the flowers nod to an intrinsic craving for peace.
Banksy’s “Flower Thrower” first appeared in Jerusalem in 2003, and has since been reprinted on t-shirts and etched into the skin of art lovers around the world.
Since replacing a Molotov cocktail with flowers is a worthy cause that all of us can get behind, I wanted to pay homage to the artist with a Banksy-inspired bouquet. I chose yellow iris, light pink roses, blue delphinium, purple vine lily, and plum tulips whose leaves I used to recreate the dimension and greenery in Banksy’s original bouquet. (As the first bulb fell to the floor, I felt a sense of guilt for hurting the flower, but quickly reminded myself that manipulating flowers sometimes provokes a somewhat uncomfortable feeling in order to arrive at something beautiful. This is one of the reasons that I allowed for the leaves of the other flowers to spill over the brown-paper wrapping even though they don’t exist in the original graphic– I didn’t want to rip off the stem!) The rustic beauty of street art was something I wanted to echo in the bouquet’s messy assembly, in addition to mirroring the colors. The result is both a cultural reference point and a meditation on how we perceive flowers– a mix of high-and low-brow art wrapped up in a single bouquet.