The Flower House Virtual Tour Part 5 with New York floral artists Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen (Episode 234)
February 24th, 2016
Today’s podcast guests conjured up the most amazing room installation at Lisa Waud’s Flower House last October. It was thoroughly mesmerizing and masterful in so many ways, and while I had a chance to meet and share time with Denise Fasanello and Anne Kilcullen during the days leading up to the Flower House opening on October 16th, we never had enough minutes to record a podcast interview. However, when I was in NYC a few weeks ago, the three of us got together to record today’s episode to share with you.
Denise and Anne are the co-creators of “A Floral Whirlwind,” which occupied the upstairs dining room space at The Flower House. Sculpted of foliage, vines and a few botanical surprises, the kinetic whoosh of a gravity-defying, tornado-like experience in the center of the room was pretty darned incredible for everyone who viewed it.
Rather than try to explain it myself, I’ll let Anne and Denise tell you how they created this stunning work of art. But let me first introduce these two established New York-based floral designers and artists. The following statements are taken from The Flower House web site:
First meet DENISE FASANELLO of DENISE FASANELLO FLOWERS
Lisa’s unbounded enthusiasm for this project sold me from the get go! i’m planning to create a visual floral feast for the eyes. My favorite task as a florist is when everything is in its place and I can flit around, tweaking and styling and making everything look perfect. Lately, I’m digging bold color choices, single flower groupings and tiny frilly little flowers.
On her web site, Denise goes further:
I’m a city girl. Born and bred. I thrive off the pulse and energy of this place. So my devotion to the natural world came as a revelation.
It started years ago when I took a part time job at a flower shop to make the rent. I’d studied fine art at The Cooper Union. And the play of color, scale and form needed to arrange flowers felt completely familiar to me.
I spent the next few years pursuing a career in the arts, all the while making art that incorporated flowers. In 2009, I decided it was time to reverse that equation and start making flowers as art. At that moment, Denise Fasanello Flowers was born.
I look to the world-class museums and cultural resources we have right here in New York City for inspiration. My fascination is where the trained eye of the artist and the unruly natural world meet. Art history, the decorative arts, fashion, textiles and interior design, along with nature’s bounty, are what feed my work. I believe a fresh, simple approach is usually best yet I can’t resist a bit of glamour now and then.
Today, the business is based in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Columbia Waterfront. My team and I work all over the tri-state area and beyond, creating exuberant, natural-looking floral designs for weddings and special events. We also create floral installations for corporate clients including Macy’s, Chanel, L’Oreal and Lancôme.
Follow Denise at these social places:
Denise Fasanello on Facebook
Denise Fasanello on Pinterest
Denise Fasanello on Instagram
Next, meet ANNE KILCULLEN of BLADE Floral & Event Designs
Anne wrote: “I first heard of the flower house project through Denise Fasanello, a fellow designer here in new york, and it sounded amazing from the start.
I love the idea of taking something old, abandoned and neglected and repurposing it. Breathing new life into a forgotten place; combining my love of flowers with a project that could potentially renew some hope seemed like a no brainer.
Flowers bring joy at the most basic level but sometimes I wish that my love of flowers and design could have a greater impact. Creating living art in this way seems like the perfect way to do just that.
The ideas for my room in the flower house are still forming and everyday a bit of new inspiration comes to mind.
I would love to see a lot of green; maybe that seems obvious but I want nothing too contrived; instead, it should have more natural lines and free flowing movement.
My favorite task as a florist? Well, you can’t count all the really glamorous parts of the business like cleaning and processing flowers, loading buckets and boxes, sweeping and all of the other schlepping we all know and love.
Most of all I love the freedom that comes from designing. When a client gives you free reign to create it allows your best to shine and inevitably results in the most beautiful work. Personal flowers for weddings often give me this feeling.
Being able to be a small part of an enormous day for so many; having a bride’s face light up when she sees her bouquet for the first time is always a favorite part of the process for me.
Here’s more from Blade Floral & Event Designs web site
After years of working in the New York City floral industry, Anne Kilcullen founded Blade Floral and Event Designs. Recognizing the importance of even the smallest detail, we view our client relationships as an opportunity for limitless creativity. Our goal is to bring the beauty of flowers together with the vision and personality of our clients to provide an experience that enhances their celebration.
The natural beauty and art that surrounds our everyday experiences greatly influences our designs. Vibrant colors combined with interesting textures are the foundation of many of our designs. We treat each occasion as a unique experience, as we know it is for our clients, listening to their ideas and transforming them into a custom design. A true passion for flowers and an appreciation for their natural beauty is what continually inspires all our work.
“Our philosophy is that the final design of each celebration perfectly mirrors our clients’ vision. We take pride in our ability to personalize every detail so that it reflects you and your story.” — Anne Kilcullen
Follow Anne on Facebook
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I know you’ll enjoy our conversation, including learning more about these floral artists and how they manage their studios.
Thank you for joining me today as we peered into one of the beautiful rooms of The Flower House.
I have a fantastic update about The Flower House to share with you this week. Heather Saunders, who served as the official Flower House photographer, has just announced her forthcoming book called Flower House Detroit. Click here to PRE-ORDER your personal copy.
As the Official Flower House photographer, Heather gained exclusive access to document the year-long preparation and exhibition. She has been a professional photographer for 19 years, committed to photographing real, meaningful and powerful images, with a sense of humor and a genuine interest in the authentic spirit of faces, landscapes + objects and, of course, FLOWERS.
Heather’s vibrant imagery has been described as thoughtful, cinematic and timeless. She aims to live her life in a sea of these same adjectives. Her work has recently been highlighted in The Washington Post, Collosal, The Jealous Curator, My Modern Met, Frankie Magazine, Vogue Portugal, Flirty Fleurs Magazine, Huffington Post + CNN.
Flower House Detroit will feature images and reflection on the experience from the breathtaking 2015 extraordinary floral installation, with a foreword by project creator Lisa Waud. Also included will be words from the collaborating designers, thoughts on the decision to use only American-grown plants and flowers, a walk through the surrounding neighborhood, comments on the experience from visitors and a powerful section of acknowledgements to all those who made this incredible project possible.
A traveling exhibition of some of her work as well as speaking engagements on her experience documenting this life-changing project will fill her 2016-2017 calendar and follow #FLOWERHOUSEBOOK to follow her adventures as a first-time author.
The Slow Flowers Podcast has been downloaded more than 84,000 times by listeners like you. THANK YOU to each and every one of you for downloading, listening, commenting and sharing. It means so much.
Until next week, you’re invited to join me in putting more American grown flowers on the table, one vase at a time. And If you like what you hear, please consider logging onto Itunes and posting a listener review.
The content and opinions expressed here are either mine alone or those of my guests alone, independent of any podcast sponsor or other person, company or organization.
The Slow Flowers Podcast is engineered and edited by Andrew Wheatley and Hannah Holtgeerts. Learn more about their work at shellandtree.com.