Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 4, 2009

The Universal Art of Flower Design, with Judith Blacklock

To listen to my chat with Judith Blacklock, click here.

A kindred spirit

Every now and then, I take stock of where I have been and whom I have met; and consider myself lucky to have met some truly original people.

Some might say “characters” and I would agree in the sense that some unique individuals I have met play a very significant role in all kinds of human theatre.

This is Judith Blacklock.

And she is indeed a “character” in the other sense of the word that suggests a distinct, perhaps even idiosyncratic, personality.

Suffice it to say that Judith is as diverse and colourful as the flowers she arranges.

Tucked away in a dreamy courtyard in Knightsbridge, London SW1 just around the corner from Harrod’s — how’s that for evoking memories of London — is The Judith Blacklock Flower School.

Toronto

I first met Judith at a trade show in Toronto; I had arrived early and she was bustling around setting up her table.

She could have ignored me I suppose because the event had not gotten underway just yet; however — and this is very Judith — she instead engaged me in conversation as if we were old friends, asking me at one point how I as a man responded to the colours on the cover of her encyclopedia. Apparently, men do have some kind of differentiated colour reaction that Judith was quite aware of. I said that I thought the colours did indeed “work,” and this led to a discussion of a number of other seemingly unrelated issues.

When we were interrupted by the announcement that interviews were about to begin, Judith and I quickly said that it would be nice to continue the chat at some other time.

London

Well, that other time (and place) was her school in Kensington. And what a chat — and visit — it turned out to be.

Now, I like flowers, enjoy photographing them, appreciate the knowledge, effort, and skill that goes into growing them, but like many people I suppose I had not given a lot of thought to the role flowers — and flower arranging — play in human culture.

That was before I met and talked with Judith.

And when I read her Judith Blacklock Encyclopedia of Flower Design, I discovered that there was a great deal more to learn about the culture of flowers and flower design. I also discovered that Judith is an artist, mentor, and what I would now categorize as a “floral philosopher.”

As I learned from Judith, flower design and flower arranging have all the elements of metaphysics, multicultural appreciation, language, universal artistic principles, music, and even anthropology.

To visit Judith’s website, click here.

More …

(a) You may also be interested in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts which had a special exhibit entitled “Fine Arts & Flowers” at which Judith was one of the featured speakers. She does get around.

(b) Judith is also a featured member of the World Association of Flower Arrangers, an international organization dedicated to floral art and which will be having its next congress in Pakistan.

(c) To purchase The Judith Blacklock Encyclopedia of Flower Design, contact Judith directly by way of her website, or click here.

What’s new from Judith Blacklock

Judith has opened a second flower school located near New Covent Garden Flower Market. She also now offers courses that include a guided tour of one of the world’s most famous flower markets. In addition, students have the opportunity of meeting some of the UK’s long established flower traders.

For more information, click here.

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