F.Bombe's Floral Festival at Thurloe Place

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Flowers and festivities: a weekend to remember

F.Bombe, who launched in February (the same time as Plinth!) had their first, momentous commission for ‘Shakespeare 400’ in April, a day long event at the British Museum to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Crafting an enormous, wicker bust of England’s finest poet, F.Bombe intertwined blooms and blossoms from the plays and sonnets, to create a backdrop to the readings and events of the day. Jo Sherren and Louise Chamberlain - the gurus behind the flowers - came to the Thurloe Place gallery over an October weekend, bringing with them a festival of floral delights.

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From rose-infused cocktails to creative sun-printing workshops, and a busy flower market, the F.Bombe festival promised to be a very special event. We caught up with Jo and Louise, to find out a little bit more about what they do.

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"WE ARE FLOWER DECORATORS. WE BUY FROM FRIENDS & GROWERS IN THE CAPITAL TO CREATE UNIQUE ARRANGEMENTS FOR EVENTS."

The few words on F.Bombe’s website may be minimal and to the point, but their floral arrangements are anything but. Brimming with innovation and creative spark, F.Bombe are more visual art than decoration, as Jo and Louise bring their infectious passion and delight in the beauty of nature to bear on every facet of their work.

F.Bombe's ethos benefits “the ground, the grower, the maker, the scene in to which it fits, to be enjoyed on its own by one person, and then to be returned to the ground again or sometimes preserved and reused.”

Jo Sherren
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Yet, perhaps the most beautiful aspect of F.Bombe’s work lies in its well tended roots: Jo and Louise are not simply concerned with pretty petals and surface ornamentation, but have built their company around a sustainable ethos, sourcing plants and flowers locally. The duo work with London based growers - individuals with gardens, allotments, and any patch of green within the M25! - taking cuttings and working to support environmental growth.

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As Sherren recounts, a trip to the Harrington Scheme in Highgate, in search of “more interesting flowers,” brought the pair to the realisation that local flower cuttings “would be much more rewarding for everyone.” Since then, F.Bombe’s philosophy has centred - in a rather organic style - around the notion of “completing a circle.” For Sherren and Chamberlain, F.Bombe’s work has far reaching benefits for all: “the ground, the grower, the maker, the scene in to which it fits, to be enjoyed on its own by one person, and then to be returned to the ground again or sometimes preserved and reused.”

The festival, and the sun-printing workshops, will capture what has been and what will come again.

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The F.Bombe weekend came at a pivotal moment, complementing the lifespan of the gallery and the themes of Thurloe Place: the evenings were getting shorter, the sun weaker, as Autumn shifted into gear; Jacques Nimki’s beautiful organic installation, ‘Florilegium SW7’, moved through the cycles of its own, brief life; and our pop-up neared its close. F.Bombe’s festival was not only a celebration of Plinth at Thurloe Place, and the work of all the artists who collaborated there, but an event that tied together the themes of transience and natural beauty that pervaded the pop-up exhibition. As Sherren expresses, their festival, and their ephemeral sun printing workshops, “captured what has been and what will come again.”

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