The Colors of the Orient is the title of my next project, which was created in Ksiaz Castle during this year's Festival of Flowers and Art. The joy of color that is contained within the walls of this historical castle is something that greatly inspired me. Another big source of inspiration was the exotic travels of the most famous inhabitant of the castle, which was Princess Daisy.
In Ksiaz Castle, where history and culture meet, I found the perfect canvas to express my tribute to the exotic allure of the Orient. The narrative of Princess Daisy, her travels, and her curiosity about the East guided me as I wove the floral tapestry.
From Poland to the Orient
The year 2023 was announced as the Year of Princess Daisy in Wałbrzych and Pszczyna, two cities associated with her life in Poland. Therefore, the Flower Festival was also held on topics related to the activity and life of this remarkable and special Duchess.
During her life, the Duchess made numerous foreign trips, including to Asia. In one of the rooms on the 3rd floor of the castle, I created floral installations full of contrasting colors referring to the colors of the Orient. 'Orient' is Latin for 'east'. This term is used to describe areas lying to the east from the point of view of Europe.
The Oriental style was popular as early as the 19th century, when - along with the development of transport - Europeans began to get to discover the distant corners and culture of the countries of the East.
A Journey Through the Silk Road
Our own journey started with a study of the famous Silk Road, which I saw as a metaphor for the path of beauty and exploration. Princess Daisy's trips symbolized an endeavor to discover new worlds, and it resonated with my passion for finding the essence of different cultures in the blooms that nature offers.
In my arrangement, I focused on the richness of colors and contrasts, using lively, energetic colors and combinations. I arranged the installations in such a way that the viewer would feel a gradual unfolding of the Oriental mystique.
By using several varieties of gerberas, purple limoniums and vandas, bright yellow chrysanthemums, beautiful strelitzias, turquoise-colored pampas grass, and beautiful dark-red Charmelia Purplex. With this unusual combination of (partially dried) flowers, I tried to depict the elegance, grace, and profundity of the East. The result was a captivating mix of geometry and texture that whispered stories of the Orient to the eyes of the beholder.
The flowers were placed in a floristic sponge and additionally conditioned every morning with a spray conditioner. This made them easily last for the full five days of the event.
A Connection Through Time and Space
What struck me most during this project was the connection between time and space. A castle in Poland became the stage for an experience of Asian heritage, linked by the adventures of an extraordinary woman and the power of floral art.
I used big pots to show the abundance of all these flowers and give each of these the space to show off while making sure to pay respect to the authenticity of the inspiration. This way, the floral arrangements came to life. The intertwining of different floral textures created a visually appealing feast, where shades of the East met European elegance.
Reflection and Acknowledgment
The Colors of the Orient is more than a floral project; it's a celebration of history, exploration, and cross-cultural connections. Through it, I had the chance to honor not only Princess Daisy and her zest for life but also the countless unnamed individuals who have traveled the East and have been mesmerized by its beauty.
As a floral designer, I believe in the power of flowers to transcend barriers, speak a universal language, and connect souls. The Year of Princess Daisy was the ideal context to embark on this journey, and the Festival of Flowers and Art was the perfect stage.
The Colors of the Orient became a bridge between worlds, much like the castle that housed it. It was not only a reflection of Princess Daisy's adventurous spirit but also a nod to the enduring human endeavor to reach across horizons and find common threads.
Thanks to All Contributors
In such undertakings, the help of assistants is indispensable. I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to this project, especially those who visited and took part in the experience. It was your appreciation and engagement that made the Colors of the Orient a truly remarkable adventure. The echoes of the Orient still resonate in the castle's chambers, and they will continue to inspire all those who dare to dream and explore. Without their help, the project would not be possible.
A special thanks to: Małgorzata Wróblewska-Tylus, Magdalena Płoskonka, Piotr Konieczny, Magdalena Zukowicz, Anna Gliwa, Anna Plecety. I would also like to thank the Polish Florist Association (SFP) and the castle management for trusting me and entrusting the project to me.
Photos by Marcin Czech.