Since the earliest days of civilisation, humans have used floral decorations, composed of living or dried cut-plant materials or artificial facsimiles, to embellish their environment and persons. People use flowers as a part and parcel of their daily worship, ceremonies, festivals, public celebrations of all kinds. Similarly, some flowers are recognised as an epitome of beauty and love and they are used as a symbol of love.
Although flowers are naturally beautiful, it is the artistic arrangement of flowers that enhances their beauty through flower arrangement. Sophisticated cultures have generally expressed a love for decorating with flowers by carefully arranging them in especially chosen containers, while other societies have used them more informally: strewn, made into garlands and wreaths, or casually placed in waterholding vessels without thought of arrangement.
Floral Design is both a decorative craft and a creative art form. Ikebana, the Japanese word for the art of flower arranging, is more popular today. Ikebana means ‘living flowers’, but a more accurate interpretation would be an ‘arrangement of plant material’. Ikebana strives to convey through symbolism how nature and art relate to daily living.
There is no event worth the name in the universe without some kind of floral arrangement involved. It is here that floral designers come into the picture. Floral designers create their designs according to the occasion – weddings, birthdays, parties and even funerals – each having specific flower arrangement patterns.
Floristry is a vast and an often-underrated field. A good florist understands the principles of design, aesthetics, composition, and colour to capture the mood of the customer. They are able to source, purchase, and store floral materials, which by their nature are fragile and short-lived. A florist is aware of which flowers are available in which seasons of the year, and which flowers work well in combination with each other. Given the delicate nature of the profession, it’s important to keep the art alive even if it’s through little efforts.
The Floral Art Society of Pakistan (FASP) is a non-profit NGO that aims to promote national and international goodwill and understanding through the promotion of floral art. Their objectives are to hold exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops and seminars to encourage the love and use of flowers creatively. FASP is engaged in promoting Floral Art and its related activities, bringing beauty and creativity in our homes and lives.
The society is internationally affiliated to WAFA (World Association of Floral Artists), and their members participate in international shows regularly winning laurels for the country thereby promoting a softer image of Pakistan.
FASP has chapters in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar. They regularly organise national shows bringing all the chapters together to compete and share their skills, holding demonstrations and workshops.
As part of their policy, they support a charity at their show collecting funds to help various organisations in the field of medicine and education, like the Kidney Centre, Fatamid, Behbud, Cancer hospitals like Shaukat Khanam, Blind foundation, Sahara Trust etc.
Recently, the FASP Gardenia Chapter had a demonstration by Maleka Majeed, titled ‘Execution of indeterminate titles in a schedule’ via an online meeting.
Maleka Majeed, a past President, judge and a demonstrator, boasts a resume of several shows nationally and internationally with a fairly long list of achievements.
In her demonstration, she gave a detailed explanation on how to understand and work on open ended titles given in the Show Schedule. The title picked for her was, ‘2021…as I see it’. She created five designs taking the viewer from the end of the year 2020 to the year 2021 ending with the hope of a healthier world.
Members of all the chapters as well as a few international designers participated in this virtual meeting. President Salma Ansari congratulated the winners of online competitions and urged the members to participate in more competitions to showcase their talents. The meeting ended with comments by the Advisor, Shahimah Sayeed.
In the era of technology, many of us have lost touch with nature and its glory. Amid this, floral art is a refreshing way to find our connection with nature.