Floral designer Julia Rose, has us celebrating all things spring on the Gold Coast, writes Get it’s Kathleen Loxton
There are many mediums in which to create art, and perhaps one of the most magnificent, particularly as we enter spring, can be picked from our very own gardens. Julia Rose takes flowers as her muse in her role as Creative Director and Conceptual Artist of the inaugural Main Beach Spring Flower Festival, taking place on 7-9 September, 2019.
Julia started making floral gowns and fantasy pieces just under 10 years ago for events such as Gold Coast Fashion Week, international Fashion Weeks and red carpet events. Julia said of her career path so far, “I was in the floristry industry for years, and then I went travelling and did art. When I came back, I returned to the floristry industry and I became sick; I was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivity, where you basically become allergic to the modern world. So, we had to move into a tiny house, it was a sterile environment and I was too sick to work or do anything out in public for two and a half years. Eventually, I started teaching at the TAFE in the science lab, because it was a sterile environment. Once I started getting better, I just wanted to create for the sake of creation… It’s always been about the joy and challenge of making something extraordinary, and passing this on.”
Today, her work has taken off internationally, and Julia now resides happily on her beautiful farm just outside of Byron Bay, where she gathers her inspiration and cultivates her passion.
“I know it sounds cliché, but people can see passion. They connect with it I think,” Julia said. No other time was this clearer than when Julia lost one of her rescue animals, and she created a piece during that period, which went on to feature on covers and in galleries, as one of her first major successes.
As the clock ticks down to the Gold Coast’s 2019 Main Beach Spring Flower Festival, Julia will use her experience, including being a curator for the Brisbane Arcade and working with challenging structures, to create a floral extravaganza.
When Julia was approached to do the flower festival, the timing was just right, and she remains motivated, recalling seeing the reactions to her pieces in the past that made the hard work worthwhile. It was a “natural evolution,” she added.
With art of Julia’s nature, it’s very important to enjoy the beauty of a fleeting moment. “They’re momentary. When I do gowns, or big installations, the people that get to see them then and there is what makes it really special. With works like those, they’re there for a moment, they’re captured and then they’re gone,” Julia said.
Conceptualising and relaying her ideas, and seeing it all come together, has been the highlight for Julia, as was working alongside those who helped make the festival happen. Julia said of her team, “The ladies are all so passionate, which is amazing. They’re so focused in their areas and what it is that they do. Especially because, being the inaugural year, it’s all about breathing life into something that is going to inspire.”
Putting together the festival has been no easy feat and required some impressive numbers. There were between 50 to 70 volunteers just for Julia’s build, who flew from all over Australia, and the incredible sets are a family affair, with Julia’s husband having designed them. A costumes and props designer from Sydney, who specialised in creating the animal moulds, even worked on Mary Poppins! What’s more? At the festival, the audience can look forward to two remarkable immersive rooms, where they will get up close to the art. There will also be 10,000 paper flowers, flowers (created by volunteers from books donated by the City of Gold Coast Libraries), and the audience will also be able to wander in delight under the 100,000 individual blooms hanging over Tedder Avenue.
What’s Julia hoping will be the takeaway from the festival? “Flowers evoke emotions in people. People will think, ‘Oh, this reminds me of my grandmother’s garden,’ or, ‘This reminds me when I was on holiday.’ Just to see people have that emotion towards the pieces and connect with them.”
Websites: mainbeachflowerfestival.com.au and flowersbyjuliarose.com