Detroit artist/floral designer Lisa Waud is an innovator who finds (and develops) beauty in the most unexpected of locations. With plans over a year in the making, Waud, in collaboration with photographer Heather Saunders and a complement of florists, found an abandoned Hamtramck (Detroit area) property, purchased it for $500, and proceeded to turn its 18 rooms into art installations using only American-grown flowers. In the process, the former derelict building was transformed into Flower House. Drawing inspiration from the setting for the July 2012 Dior couture show as well as the work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Flower House, shown over a weekend in October 2015, managed to attract more than 3500 visitors, and showcased the juxtaposition of beauty and decay while maintaining respect for the property and needs of the neighborhood.
The house is now being responsibly deconstructed — a process where the focus is to salvage and repurpose materials wherever possible. Once complete, the ground will be tilled in preparation for its next phase in life: a flower farm and design center for Waud’s own floral business, Pot and Box. First up, a planting of perennials.
If, like me, you missed the exhibition but are eager to see more, the Flower House book is launching shortly, and Lisa Waud and Flower House photographer Heather Saunders will be at the Milwaukee Art Museum on March 20 to share their experiences from the project as part of Art in Bloom.
all photos by heather saunders (with exception of book cover), and courtesy of lisa waud/flower house.