Cut flowers for Cotehele
The annual garland built from flowers grown in Cotehele garden is always a big event and this year, the centenary of the end of the First World War, will be marked with an extra special display.
A West Country artist, Dominique Coiffait, is working alongside the garden team to transform the Great Hall into an artwork to commemorate the end of the war. Dominique is spending the year in a ‘virtual residency’ at Cotehele, making regular visits to sketch the plants growing in the garden across the seasons.
" We’re all really excited about Dominique’s design and about working in partnership to create something really special."
What will Dominique create?
A print artist, Dominique carves his sketches of Cotehele’s flowers and foliage into lino blocks and prints from these in a range of colours. Each design needs to be cut out by hand and will be built up in collage to create a giant frieze which will work its way around the walls of Cotehele’s Great Hall and enhance the 60ft long cut flower garland made by the garden team.
Help us create something beautiful
As you can imagine this is an enormous undertaking, but the end result will be truly spectacular. Dominique and our volunteers will be leading #cutflowersforcotehele workshops on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the summer and would love your help with the garland preparation between 12 and 3pm each day; cutting out the flowers for use in the artwork and other displays around the property.
A commemoration of the First World War
Interwoven with the flowers and foliage of the frieze will be early postcards and other artefacts inspired by the exhibitions of First World War memories and ephemera the local community have shared with Cotehele over the past four years.
" We use floral tributes to honour our dead; we place flowers on a grave and poppies at the foot of a war memorial, yet they are also symbols of fertility, renewal and awakening. This artwork should be a respectful commemoration of those who went before, to those who fought and died and those who survived and sowed the seeds for future generations."
Throughout the year
Dominique's art is inspired by the seasonal changes in Cotehele's garden, so he'll be here regularly to sketch the changing flowers, foliage and creatures that live and grow here. We'll be running drop-in workshops where you can help him prepare the paper flowers for the frieze throughout the year.
You can see the flowers growing for the garland every day in the cut flower garden and we’ll have smaller scale displays of Dominique’s art in reception so you can get a feel for what he’s trying to achieve.
Don’t forget to mark your diaries for the first week of November when you’ll be able to watch the gardeners working alongside Dominique to build this year’s masterpiece.
The Commemorative Garland will be on display from 10 November and you will be able to see it until Twelfth Night on 6 January – do come back to see if you can spot your own art amongst the other flowers.