Doing the flowers: an examination of materiality, emotion and identity within contemporary British floristry.
Flowers and their representations, in textiles or print, as growing plants or in vases surround us. In any of the forms in which we experience flowers they are designed objects, and this is particularly true of cut flowers. Cultivated plants are designed by the horticultural process, and once harvested, arranged and sold, they are designed by the florist. Through application of their skilled design practice, florists create an object which can answer the desires of the consumer. They provide a commercial service supplying products that are commodified symbols of love, grief, celebration and joy. In spite of this cultural centrality, floristry has been persistently overlooked by scholars with very little analysis or research carried out in the practice itself.
This dissertation seeks to establish floristry as a legitimate area of research using a range of interdisciplinary conceptual theories drawn from post structuralism, sociology, anthropology and design history. The methodology used include ethnographical interviews, auto ethnography, object analysis and an examination of the materiality of floristry. Research subjects include the flowers used in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral, the design books of Paula Pryke and Jane Packer, the place of online and standardised flower products, the material culture of floristry, and the role of florists within the consumption processes of weddings and funerals.
School of Humanities
MA History of Design, 2016
Design historian with particular interest in the materiality and material culture of floristry, food, weddings and death.
- Postgrad Diploma Arts Administration, City University London, 1993; BA (Hons) English Literature, Polytechnic of North London, 1989
- Arts officer, Epping Forest District Council, Epping, 2007–2013; Director, Total Theatre Network/Circus Arts Forum, London, 2003–2007; Funding officer, Arts Council England, London, 1997–2003; Freelance arts management, Loophole Cinema, Circus Space, Di Robson Arts Management, Chisenhale Dance Space, Kazuko Hohki, 1993–1997.; Assistant administrator, The People Show, London, 1993–1995
- 'Journal of a floristry historian', The World of Interiors, May 2016, 264; 'How to wire a floral head dress’, Unmaking Things [online] May 2016