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WorldSkills Team UK Floristry alumni to create spectacular exhibit at Chelsea Flower Show for Queen’s 90th birthday

Monday, 16 May 2016

Joseph Massie, five-time RHS Gold Medal Winner, has been commissioned to create a floral installation at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 (24-28 May) to celebrate the 90th birthday of RHS Patron, HM the Queen.

Botanical artist, Joseph, 27, from Liverpool, won a Bronze Medal for Team UK in the Floristry Competition at WorldSkills Calgary in 2009. He has since gone on to achieve great success and in 2011 he was recognised with the WorldSkills UK Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Joseph’s design for the Chelsea Flower Show, entitled Rosa, will see a swathe of 5,000 fresh-cut roses and 1,000 preserved rose petals suspended in the air to create a romantic, sensory tunnel. 

The tunnel installation will be 20 metres long by 10 metres wide and suspended four metres above the ground.

The Rosa project marks Joseph’s first return to the Chelsea Flower Show since he achieved five successive RHS Gold Medals and four Best in Show Awards between 2009-2013. 

Joseph Massie said: “I am thrilled to be back at Chelsea – and on a much a larger scale this time around.

“It is a huge honour to be commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society to create an installation to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday.

He added: “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little bit nervous to know what Her Majesty’s verdict will be when she sees my installation for the first time!”

To create Rosa, Joseph will use the finest preserved rose petals that will appear rise up from the ground to a floral ceiling, strung on invisible threads, from two opposing corners of the space. Petals in warm, summery pink tones will rise up on one side, contrasting with softer apricot tones opposite – in keeping with this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show logo colours.

In matching tones, full-headed, fresh-cut roses will be intertwined with the preserved petals as they rise, forming two fuller columns, which will thicken and pool out as the florals reach the ceiling of the tunnel. Chunkier rose heads will then spill out overhead and the two contrasting colours will meet in the centre, creating a truly spectacular floral display.

Joseph continued: “With my design, I am aiming to create a sensory and immersive experience by presenting fresh rose blooms in a truly romantic and captivating way.

“I really hope that the Queen, and all of this year’s visitors to Chelsea, will enjoy the exhibit.”

Five thousand flower blooms and five different types of rose varieties will be used to create the exhibit, including Sweet Avalanche, Pearl Avalanche and White Avalanche roses, as well as more than 1,000 preserved rose petals. The roses and preserved rose petals will dry naturally over the course of the week and will be recycled into new artworks after the Show has finished.

Joseph has recruited 25 volunteers to work alongside him, assisting with the installation over four days in the lead up to the Show. Volunteers were selected from Joseph’s flower school, the UK School of Floristry, and from other leading colleges around the UK, as well as students from Australia, France and Sweden.

Meijer Roses and Avalanche Roses are sponsors of Joseph Massie’s ‘Rosa’ installation at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016.

For more information about Joseph Massie, visit www.josephmassie.com

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016, sponsored by M&G Investments, takes place from 24-28 May 2016 in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea. The theme of this year's Show will champion the health and wellbeing benefits of greening-up our grey spaces. For more information, visit www.rhs.org.uk 

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