I wish I had better pictures of the Detroit Flower House. We saw it in late afternoon, there’s no electricity in the house itself (although some spaces had lighting), and to really do it justice I’d have needed some auxiliary flashes and enough room to maneuver without people constantly walking through the frame.
But that’s OK. An art installation is what it is, and not everything needs to be extensively photographed, although that’s sort of a quaint idea today.
Anyway, the setting was an abandoned house hard by the freeway, a up-and-down two-flat, nothing fancy. The creative driver behind the project, Lisa Waud, bought it and the one next door for a total of $500. The one next door was used for the preview party a few weeks ago, and was decorated in a similar but lesser style for those guests, and its current state of Miss Havisham-like decay gives you an idea what the Flower House, open for three days only, will look like soon enough. Both buildings will be demolished.
So, on to the house:
Tickets were sold by time slot, and guests were given 20 minutes to take themselves through. You went in through one duplex door and exited via the other. Inside, the juxtaposition between decay and fresh plant life on its way to decay was unmistakable:
As you can see, this wasn’t a floral display in the sense of vases and water a pleasing combination of colors and textures to make the eye happy — although my eye was very happy. Rather, it was think-different sort of floral artistry:
The most literal displays were in the kitchen, where this fabulous cornucopia of flowers and vegetables covered a table…
…and probably the most amusing, this room called “In Loo of Flowers.”
And oh yeah, the bedroom. Really could have used a little stepladder to show this one off, but ah well:
Every space had something, including the closets, where I found the use of mushrooms amusing:
The closet ceiling:
In Indiana, they called this space the airing porch:
There were others, but honestly, you can probably find better shots by searching #detroitflowerhouse on Instagram or other social media.
I thought, later, about how younger designers are transforming floral design, moving well beyond the FTD model. A few years ago I met a couple of guys who run a shop here and do fantastic, imaginative displays — they were doing rose cubes (a dozen cut to one length, in a short square vase, with a banana leaf wrapped around the stems in the water) and these rustic daisy bouquets (tied with rough string and stuck into a green Mason jar) years ago, and their stuff has continued to evolve. I love the idea of putting flowers in contrast with decay, tropicals up against succulents and other imaginative renderings. I expect this will put Lisa Waud on the map in a big way. It’s a place she deserves to be.
And that was a big part of the weekend. I don’t have much from the Sunday papers, because I dedicated myself to some overdue cleaning, and neglected the papers. Some stories broke through the static, like this OID special. Talk about a click-bait headline: Pastor kills brick-wielding man during church service. And that’s pretty much exactly what happened.
Does your city have a cat café? Ferndale will, soon. All the dogs will be making prank phone calls.
Anyone watching “The Leftovers” this season? I was wondering how they would go on, as the events of the novel ended the first season. They’re going to Weirdsville, it turns out, and this explainer clears up a lot of the questions you might have.
Finally, if you missed Larry David as Bernie Sanders on “Saturday Night Live,” take 10 minutes and catch up. Totally worth it.
A week awaits us all. Let’s make it work.