Courtyards2019-10-12T17:36:25+00:00

The patios of Cordoba are themselves true floral installations. Inherited from the Romans and perfected by the Arabs, the tradition of preserving and delighting in these courtyards remains intact today, making them one of the hallmarks of this city in Andalusia, along with its world-famous mosque.

FLORA International Flower Festival proposes this unprecedented cultural exchange between the traditional space of the Cordovan patios and the surprising contemporary art form of floral installations: an engaging dialogue between tradition and innovation that takes place in some of the city’s institutional patios, lent by the City Council for this event.

While the people of Cordoba have tended to their patios with the utmost care over the centuries (an everyday spectacle that reaches its high point in the month of May, to become the main event in the city: the Fiesta de los Patios), some of the best floral artists in the world converged at FLORA to reinterpret these patios through highly diverse perspectives, cultural factors and contexts, affording a unique look at this aspect of Spanish heritage.

You can find out more about the patios that will be participating in FLORA 2019 below.

DIPUTACIÓN DE CÓRDOBA

CLOCK PATIO

The Merced Palace was originally a convent, later became a poorhouse and currently houses the Cordoba Provincial Council. This magnificent Baroque building stands across from the Jardines de Colon (Columbus Gardens) and features spaces such as the main cloister, one of the highlights of the Andalusian Baroque period, and the Patio del Reloj.

The restoration of the building, done by Rafael de la Hoz, one of the driving forces behind the modernisation of Spanish architecture in the second half of the 20th century, included the design of this unique vertical sundial of Classical Roman inspiration, crowned by the sculpture of the sun created by the recently deceased artist Tomás Egea.

PLAZA DE COLÓN, 15
CÓRDOBA

FROM 18TH TO 27TH OCTOBER, 2019
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

THIERRY BOUTEMY | FRANCE

ARTIST

France, 1969. Having worked as a florist since 1987, Boutemy emerged onto the international scene through his work in Marie Antoinette, a film directed by Sofia Coppola in 2006. Currently based in Brussels, he is now a key figure in the world of fashion, film, art, weddings and high-end events. His more artistic side, which we shall see at FLORA, strays radically from trends in fashion and sophistication: in the manner of a naturalist, this French artist arranges the flowers and plants he works with just as he finds them in their natural habitat, wild and indomitable.

The mythical fashion shows of Lanvin, the façades of Pierre Marcolini’s Belgian chocolate shop, and public and private events for Inditex also bear his distinctive hallmark, which draws from memories of his childhood in northern France. Throughout his work, he endeavours to find the spontaneity that resides in nature and to shun rigidity, but we must not be fooled into thinking this has anything to do with chance: it is only through his mastery of the technique that he can create such free and exciting installations.

Palacio de Viana

CHAPEL PATIO

In Cordoba, one of the best ways of displaying grandeur is with a courtyard, and Viana Palace has twelve, plus a garden. There is little more to add, but let us recall that this is a noble residence that belonged to the aristocracy from the 15th to the 19th centuries, until the 3rd marchioness of Viana sold the house to the Provincial Savings Bank of Cordoba in 1980. It currently belongs to the CajaSur Foundation.

The Patio de la Capilla, or Chapel Courtyard, takes its name from the recently restored adjoining chapel. It could almost be considered a small archaeological museum, due to the number and value of the pieces displayed there. As the legacy of a tradition among the nobility, which was keen to show off its wealth through these elements, it is a decorative feature that is also common among many of the private courtyards in the city. It is, most certainly, the coolest courtyard in Viana Palace thanks to the dense shade cast by the citric trees here, but also offers the smallest variety of plant species as flowers do not bloom easily here. However, this will surely change during FLORA.

PLAZA DE DON GOME, 2
CÓRDOBA

FROM 18TH TO 27TH OCTOBER, 2019
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

PHKA |THAILAND

ARTIST

Thailand, 2013. PHKA is a fifteen-member cross-disciplinary studio that aims to create a bridge between spatial design and floral and botanical installations, endeavouring to forge new perceptions about the places where they do their work. In their view, flowers do not decorate; rather, they spotlight and reinvent the spaces in which they are present. This vision has led them to create emblematic works like “Abandoned One”, in which they covered the façade of a night club in Thailand with thousands of anthuriums, or “Blooming Tune”, a kinetic floral installation in which the notes of a musical score were transformed into a dance of flowers.

Founded in 2013 by the architects Tul Chompaisal and Vissata Duangwongsri, both of whom were born in 1987 in Bangkok, PHKA currently designs some eighty projects per year. Their works stray from the stereotypical image of flowery Thailand: beyond the colour and exoticism, PHKA focuses on new forms.

Palacio de Orive

CENTRAL PATIO

Palacio de Orive, also known as Casa de los Villalones, is one of the most beautiful Renaissance buildings of the city, built in 1560 by Hernán Ruiz II. Nowadays, it is mainly used as headquarter of Culture, Festivities and Tourism.

This building comprehends two patios, around which are the many rooms of the house.

The Patio Central is covered by white walls and a beautiful marble floor. Even though its floral decoration is not excessive, this place is considered as a particular spot where the visitor can find most traditional plants of Córdoba; i.e. geranios, gitanillas and pilastras.

PLAZA DE ORIVE, 2
CÓRDOBA

FROM 18TH TO 27TH OCTOBER, 2019
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Mary Lennox | AUSTRALIA

ARTIST

Australia, 1988. Trained as a florist in Sydney and New York, Australian national Ruby Barber has art in her blood and in her own emotional geography: she opened her first studio under the name of Mary Lennox in the building that formerly housed the first studio of her father, a photographer, and the first gallery of her mother, a contemporary artist. To complete the magic, the building was located at the corner of Mary and Lennox streets, and Mary Lennox is the name of the main character of her favourite childhood book, The Secret Garden, a classic in English children’s literature and an ode to the force of nature.

Years later, Barber moved to Berlin, where she has managed to become one of the best-known and most highly respected floral artists today. Her mastery of colour ranges, her romantic style, and her use of plants and flowers that are uncommon in floral art have made her very personal way of looking at nature her hallmark.

Museo Arqueológico

PATIOS I & II

This palace (currently the Córdoba Archaeological Museum) was built over the ruins of an old Roman theatre, and thus, a part of the theatre stands can be seen in one of the rooms.

The square-shaped footprint of the palace (which dates from the 16th century) is arranged around two patios. The first is rectangular, holds the entry area and features a pool in the centre. It adjoins the second patio by means of an open arcade with round arches, in 16th-century Italian style. The rooms of the original home are arranged around the second patio, with round arches on two floors.

PLAZA DE JERÓNIMO PÁEZ, 7
CÓRDOBA

FROM 18TH TO 27TH OCTOBER, 2019
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Lisa Waud | USA

ARTIST

EUA, 1978. Old and new. Nature as a cleansing reset. Joy from beauty. There are numerous themes that spark the interest of this US artist who revolutionised the world of floral installations with her now legendary “Flower House”. In this work, she called upon dozens of floral artists to fill an abandoned house – sadly not an unusual sight in the downtrodden city of Detroit – with nature. More than 100,000 flowers and plants took over the house, rendering it a tribute to renewal and to botany.

Some of the things that Waud is vitally committed to are making her projects fully accessible, engaging viewers and collaborators (moving away from the traditional image of the artist working alone), and celebrating the beauty of underrepresented and marginalised groups. Her vision of nature has a lot to tell us, we just need to let it speak for itself.

Casa Góngora

CENTRAL PATIO

This typical 17th-century mansion, which was used as the notary records archives until the late 20th century, was converted into a museum and centre for study through an arrangement between the Cordoba City Council and the Ministry of Public Works. Its 1085 gross square metres house an exhibition hall managed by the Cordoba City Council’s Department of Culture and the Góngora Academic Chair.

All the rooms in the mansion look out onto a large porticoed central patio that offers ventilation and light. The patio features a handsome pomegranate tree and the typical “Cordoba cobblestone”, a paving technique that serves not only aesthetic purposes: this traditional mix of stone and sand allows the patio to be sprayed with water on hot afternoons, cooling the air without creating puddles.

CALLE CABEZAS, 3
CÓRDOBA

FROM 18TH TO 27TH OCTOBER, 2019
11:00 AM TO 20:00 PM

Flor Motion | SPAIN

ARTIST

Spain, 2019. A group of fifteen of the top florists from Madrid, united to promote and disseminate flower culture, simultaneously humanising the city with their floral surprises. Once a month, the members of Flor Motion leave their everyday jobs and meet to interpret the same flower, each in their own manner. The result is a marvellous photography project and a series of bouquets that are anonymously left throughout the city the next day. They also carry out #guerrillafloral performances – creating improvised installations right on the street – and champion the beauty of wild nature and reuse of materials. Their philosophy can be summed up in one of their popular hashtags: #masflorporfavor [more flower please].

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