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Inspiration from Art

emc core program floral design floral education Jul 29, 2023

Interpreting Art in floral design

EMC Advanced Course Paris Adventure

The Louvre houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of art in the world. With over 38,000 works of art, the museum offers visitors an unparalleled opportunity to view art and artefacts from around the globe and throughout history. It is home to some of the world's most famous and iconic artworks, just as it is the place where paintings overcrowd the walls and invite art lovers to dive into the history and mastery in each room of the museum.

The Louvre's architecture is breathtaking, with its iconic glass pyramid serving as a modern entrance to the museum's classical buildings. The museum's interior spaces are equally impressive, with ornate ceilings and intricate details throughout.

Louvre is the place where our EMC Advanced Course students go to choose the painting they will interpret florally as part of their exam for the certification. It's a one long day adventure we undergo with them, leaving Brugge very early in the morning and returning in the evening. The Museum's painting collection is a vast and immersive journey through the evolution of art, spanning centuries and continents. With over 7,500 paintings on display, it is an artistic wonderland that offers inspiration for every student.

The Louvre's painting collection is not merely a display of artworks; it is a wellspring of inspiration. It invites students to explore different artistic movements, to study the elements and principles of Art employed by master artists, and to delve into the stories and histories that these paintings encapsulate. 

The day in Paris is dedicated to visiting the museum in the morning and getting a live experience with the painting of each student's choice. Although we recommend our students to choose a painting beforehand, in order to not get lost in the vast collection of the museum, there's always the option of simply being struck by a work of art on the spot and decide to take on that challenge. It's an individual choice just as much as it is an individual endeavour, which involves personal feelings and personal interpretation. On their journey to finding their signature style in working with flowers, this personal approach to the task is very important. 

The entire assignment of Interpretative Art is based on a journey that start early in the EMC Foundation Course, where our students learn the Elements and Principles of Design, the same concepts that stand on the basis of every form of art, in this case adapted to out metier. However, having a solid foundation in identifying these elements and being able to analyse a work of art through them is crucial in the way we see floral art and art in general. This process that we take our students on opens the doors to visualising the strengths and visual impact of any design and offer infinite opportunities of interpretation, while still allowing the artist to add a personal touch to it. 

This Interpretative piece undergoes the most complex preparation within the exams as it involves more than just designing a floral piece. The students are also required to write an iconography. In art history it reffers to the study and interpretation of symbols, images, and visual representations within a specific cultural or artistic context. It involves analysing the subject matter, symbols, and visual elements used in artworks to understand their meaning and significance. In essence, iconography is concerned with deciphering the visual language of art and understanding the messages conveyed by the artist through the use of symbols, motifs, colours, gestures, and other visual elements. It explores the cultural, historical, religious, and social contexts in which artworks were created to uncover the underlying meanings and associations attached to the depicted subjects.

Iconography can be found in various forms of visual art, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, and even architecture. It encompasses a wide range of subjects, from religious and mythological narratives to historical events, allegorical representations, and everyday life scenes. Art historians and scholars employ various methodologies and research techniques to analyse iconography. They draw upon historical records, literary sources, cultural references, and comparative studies to interpret the symbols and images present in artworks. By unraveling the iconography of an artwork, they aim to uncover the artist's intentions, the intended audience, and the broader cultural or ideological messages conveyed through the visual composition.

Preparing the iconography allows our students to delve deeper into the layers of meaning within the artwork of their choice, enhancing their appreciation and understanding of the artistic expression. It provides a framework for exploring the symbolism and visual storytelling employed by artists, enabling a richer and more nuanced interpretation of the artwork's significance within its cultural and historical context. This becomes a solid base of inspiration for the students to create their own floral design interpreting the painting.

Besides the iconography, the Advanced Course will engage our students in creating a collage of the same painting, The collage plays a significant role in this endeavour, serving as a vital component. At EMC, we utilise the collage not primarily as an artistic expression, but as a means to comprehend the connection between 2D representation (of the selected painting to interpret) and the 3D representation, which poses a challenge in floral design. However, prior to delving into the functionality of the collage as a tool, it is essential to grasp its artistic background. Drawing inspiration from art undeniably forms a substantial part of floral design work overall, and it undoubtedly yields better results when the designer possesses knowledge and understanding of it.

Ultimately, the design itself gets to be defended by students in a 10 minutes presentation in front of Tomas De Bruyne and Christi Lopez. This involves a detailed analysis of Elements and Principles, and more details about the design process. It's not an easy task and the focus of everyone entering that exam room fills up the air and it's generally rewarded with a great inner satisfaction of being able to succeed.  

The overall experience of each student with the Interpretative Art Design is very personal. From the other side of the desk, though, Tomas and Christi are assessing each part of the process and analyse the design according to the highest standards and ultimately the celebration `of being able to succeed in such a context empowers them to feel self-confident and trust the process. The growth they experienced starting from Foundation and going all the way to the graduation ceremony is only about to unleash itself and take them on a life-long journey of wanting to know more, to master everything better and to uplift their creativity. 

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