Seeing the need to create a style that embodies a country known for innovating and coming up with new trends, Fabrizio Panone embarked on this. He seeks to destroy old approaches to composition and find new ways. Van der Plas sales manager Tonino Ferro in conversation with renowned Italian florist Fabrizio Panone.
If you were to use an adjective to describe yourself, what would it be?
”I’m a restless florist, I like to dismantle and reassemble things and therefore also floral compositions, especially mine.”
What exactly do you do?
”I am 47 years old, 26 of which I have spent among flowers. I have been involved in training at Federfiori (Italian federation of florists) since 2005.”
What trends do you see emerging in 2022?
”For some years now, we have certainly been moving towards a drier style, where opulence gives way to a more libertine expression, made up of spontaneity, less rigid and more fluid forms, where the personality of individual flowers replaces the “collective”.”
”I would agree, if it weren’t that this anti-academic feeling leads to the risk of chaos. It is however a necessary risk and maybe 2022 will be the year in which we finally succeed in bringing order to the chaos, both among flowers and peoples. On the other hand, every time we take a step forward, we lose balance for a moment.”
When you think of an Italian flower, what comes to mind?
”Bulbous plants in general. They seem, practically all of them, to evoke that Renaissance sense that is so inherent in our culture.”
Are there any flowers or colors that you prefer working with?
”Some flowers seem to convey antithetical messages. They have a more complex personality, sometimes almost an ironic sense. Some fritillaries for example, such as “imperialis” and “persica”, reconcile the exuberance of the corolla and the initial stiffness of the stem, with a soft and sinuous curve of the same stem in its upper part.”
What inspires your art?
”Music. Life is about rhythm: breathing, heartbeat. The relationship between flowers. The management of spaces, volumes and varying flower heights is my lifeblood.”
Is there a memory, an anecdote that you would like to share?
”A teenager who lived in a foster home near our workshop came to visit us. He observed us working and, intrigued, asked if he could try to compose with flowers. Shortly thereafter, he led us to other boys who lived with him and we set up proper sessions of impromptu flower arrangement, convivial moments of freedom, sincerity and respect, just as the creative approach to flowers requires. A real team of young people with a thousand nightmares to forget, a team of young artists who found in the flower an island where they could envision their new life. A team we soon gave a name to: TEAMmagini!”
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