REVIEW: Illumination Festival of Flowers


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REVIEW: Illumination – A Festival of Flowers, Winchester Cathedral

There we were, Hour 1 of Day 1, under sunshine and a clear blue sky – in the queue eagerly awaiting the doors of the Cathedral to open. As soon as we got in, we just knew we were in for a treat.

The large – scale exhibits are just breathtaking. I was particularly taken by ‘The Scribe’, which took 350 people to put together.

(The Scribe – Fareham Flower Club)

The exhibit is inspired by the scribe who put together the Bible with a steady hand – a single scribe taking at least three years.

I was mesmerised with this hanging installation as each part gently moved back and forth in the gentle breeze. Look from afar, or be encouraged to walk down the middle.

(Parchment – Hamble-le-Rice Flower Club)

Look up at Parchment. And up, and up, and up…

But even the smaller exhibits are just as stunning. ‘Faith’ is based on a hill of crosses in Lithuania. Bend down and hear the heart beating. Enjoy the candlesticks of ‘Day and Night’.

It’s not just the exhibits themselves – for example, bend down at ‘Curved Line’ and look up at the roof for the stunning light.

(Curved Line – Winchester Floral Design Society)

Never seen the chapels right at the back? One of the guides made sure I went to see them.  (Blessed and Contemplation). Blessed takes inspiration from Madonna and Child Altar frontal. Contemplation explores the power of prayer as a group.

Contemplation – All Saints Winchester, Bransgore Flower Club, Grayshott Flower Club)

(Blessed – Lymington Flower Club)

Remembrance is simple, yet beautiful.

(Remembrance – Andover Flower Club)

We’ve waited three years since the last festival, and it’s been well worth the wait. The Festival continues until Sunday 9 September, and is a ‘must-see’. You could easily describe this one as stunning, and we will. Breathtaking and stunning.

Take your time – there’s a delight around each and every corner.

Words and images:
Kevin Gover