London, in art and flowers, at East Preston Festival

JUST capital – that was East Preston Floral Club’s festival exhibition of art and flowers, which this year focused on London.

And with the eyes of the world turned on the city for the Queen’s diamond jubilee and the forthcoming Olympic Games, it was a fitting celebration of all that London has to offer.

As always, the crowning glory was the big set piece display on the stage at the Conservative Hall in Sea Road, where London Zoo was portrayed in the most imaginative and creative style by club members Cookie Brown and Pam Davidoff.

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Exotic blooms, including Bird of Paradise flowers, combined with palms and bamboo in a totally tropical setting, with apes, kangaroos, snakes and a rhinoceros roaming the stage, and superb paintings of animal and plant life perfectly matched with the stunning arrangements.

Other displays by the hard-working team of members included a Pearly Queen with boxes of fruit for one of the London markets, and a scene from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.

Four more designs represented the British Museum, in classical style, the Tate Modern, with the inevitable bricks and a hit of Damien Hirst’s pickled cow, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, the latter featuring test tubes, a circuit board and piping, all blended in with the flowers.

There were smaller arrangements, too, in bags from upmarket stores such as Fortnum & Mason and Harrods, while the exhibition, which ran from Saturday to Monday (June 2-4), with a preview on Friday night, proved as popular as ever with artists seeking to have their work on view.

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A total of 181 framed pictures were selected for the event, by 67 artists, with a further 176 unframed for visitors to browse.

Among them was a first, a couple of prints painted by finger on her iPad by Jean Shanks.

Chairman Sue Seath said she was delighted with this, the 23rd festival exhibition by the club. Over the years it has raised more than £20,000 for St Barnabas House hospice, which will again be sent a donation from this year’s proceeds.