Floral Sculptor Anthony Ward Creates Spaces of Exceptional Beauty
I did my first workshop which I call Being With Flowers: Floral Art As Spiritual Practice at The Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. That was in 2000. I was instantly addicted to teaching because of how much I learned. People who come to the workshops have a wide range of experience with Flowers. The important thing that connects us all is that we Love Flowers. Because of that we realize we are kindred spirits.
Being With Flowers is not simply a "how to" workshop. It's an exploration of our deep relationship to - and passion for flowers and the natural world. It is open to anyone moved by the beauty of flowers and floral arrangements, but also we explore why flowers and floral arrangements continually capture and stir our imaginations. Please visit www.eomega.org to see my upcoming workshops
...finding a place to sit comfortably and remembering where I am... just check in with all of your senses. What do you see? What do you hear? Gently rub your hands together and cherish them a moment. They will do the good work you are preparing for. Close your eyes and simply breathe. When you feel at peace, open your eyes. Your heart is already open. Be silent and acknowledge the moment of simply doing just that. Breathe in, breathe out, and feel the air moving through your body. Breathing is a constant pulse of life.
This is a time for silence. If you're not alone, ask your companions to join you in silence. And though you may walk together, give each other space to have your own journeys. This is a walk to observe Nature; watching how trees grow naturally. I find that a lot of floral work I see is forced. Its arrangers have pushed and prodded without respect for natural flow. There is nothing more beautiful than flowers growing the way they naturally grow. We are learning from Nature if we allow stems to fall and move the way they naturally grow. It is a way of honoring the flower. That respect reads in the work we do. It speaks to our hearts and to the hearts of others.
When I step out into Nature's garden, I never know what will emerge. Looking up at the trees sparks something of the child within us and a sense of wonderment that yearns to awaken. There is always some new surprise awaiting me if I am willing to see it. I am never alone when I step into the woods; I feel the trees swallow me as I weave through their branches. A flaming red leaf reaches out to rush my shoulder. I smile when Nature speaks so clearly. This is another type of voice, another kind of song. This is a dance I could dance forever and a song that will never be fully sung. For in this communion we are in the womb of life itself, and all else can melt away.
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"I can't imagine what OMEGA would be like without Anthony's flower arrangements! They evoke calm, joy and inspiration throughout the OMEGA campus. They serve as silent greeters and well-wishers. In the cold and gloomy months of February and March, I daydream in the expectation of Anthony's tall statuesque stems and cascading blooms (yes, the image is intentional!)."
"The flower clusters are like many manifestations of their creator's soul - at once - dancing, thoughtful, prayerful, beckoning and solitary. They are inspirational as well. When I leave here, I go right home and start gathering found objects, local plants + flowers to make arrangements for my home and patio. Small rocks, discarded pottery + bits of broken jewelry all blend to make flower displays inspired by Anthony's loving work. It helps make the transition from OMEGA to home smoother. Thank you Anthony!"
Carol Purdy - Guest (R+R)
Due to financial cutbacks at Omega, it is neccessary to have Anthony's work underwritten. The budget for last year was $10,000, so we are looking for geneorus sponsors for this work. If you can help please contact George Kaufman at Omega or simply send a check made out to Omeaga Institute and labeled For Anthony's floral work Omega 2005. If you would like to have it directed particularly for the workshop you will attend please indicate that as well. Your generous gift is completely tax deductable and your help is most appreciated.
Being with Flowers Workshop
Venue: Omega Institute, Rhinebeck/NY
2006 Dates: May 19-21, October 20-22
I welcome other opportunities to share my work in this very freeing way. I was told by a friend that these sharings help inspire others to be themselves fully and freely. Inspiration is such a precious thing to me. If my work in any way inspires others, I am truly blessed.
To set up a customized workshop, please contact Passionflora Floral Art at .
"... we realize we are kindred spirits."