Friday, June 2, 2017

Chelsea Jungle

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show has been held on the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital in London, U.K., every year since 1913, apart from gaps during the two World Wars. It is considered to be the most prestigious flower show in the world. This year, Chelsea saw its first ever design that showcased Qualatex® latex balloons and greenery in the now very familiar organic style. The design was named the "Chelsea Jungle." This fabulous installation was the collaboration between two artists, garden designer Catherine Chenery of Catherine Chenery Garden Designs, and balloon stylist Fiona MacOwen, of Riot Balloons.

Chelsea Jungle 
Photograph by Nicci Rene


This year at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, as you walk through the tunnel which connects Main Avenue and Ranelagh Gardens, you will find yourself entering a jungle dream with a canopy of exotic leaves and colourful balloons. 

By immersing you into an imaginary jungle scene, the designers aim to embrace the lighter side of life and the importance of escaping reality every now and then, if only for a moment.

The tunnel gives you an opportunity to let your mind wander into a dreamscape, as though you have let yourself drift into a daydream of luscious plants and clouds of colour, 
before re-entering reality at the other end.

The installation encourages us to take our time, not rushing to our destination but enjoying the journey. 

Chelsea Jungle
Photograph by Nicci Rene

As with many projects like this, it takes a team, and through BAPIA - the Balloon and Party Industry Alliance, Nicci Rene, of Balloon Boutiques, London, jumped at this unique opportunity.

Nicci Rene (back second left) with designers Catherine Chenery, Fiona MacOwen and John Bowler of BAPIA and team!

I asked Nicci if she would share her amazing Chelsea experience with the Very Best Balloon Blog.
"I had no hesitation agreeing to work on this amazing project. I love working as part of a team and meeting new people. I was just starting to get to grips with the organic style of balloon decor and wanted more opportunities to practice and thought this would be perfect! I was also excited at the prospect of incorporating balloons with foliage and the idea of working on a design for the Chelsea Flower Show was such a privilege.
Chelsea Jungle 
Photograph by Nicci Rene
It was a great experience, and I loved every minute of it. It was hard work and I ached in places that I didn’t know could ache, but totally worth it. I learnt a lot about the structure of putting organic designs together and realized it wasn’t as daunting as I thought. I quickly got the hang of it and started to design some great shapes to fit in the areas required. It was amazing watching it all develop and a great achievement at the end. The team was fabulous and all worked really well together. As a bonus, we got to walk around the flower show and seeing the wonderful installation, it all was pretty amazing. 
It was great to see the reaction of the people who walked through the tunnel during the installation.They were all amazed at what we were doing. It was such a shame that the balloons oxidized very quickly.  We replaced some of the big balloons and used Balloon Shine® on them straight away — that worked really well. Sadly we could not shine all the balloons as there were thousands!
The response I got after posting photographs on social media was really good. People loved the designs and the fact it was the Chelsea Flower Show gave it a greater 'wow!' I have lots of florists following me on Instagram now!"

Fiona MacOwen in action!
Chelsea Jungle 

Photograph by Nicci Rene

On a personal note, this would have been a project that I would have loved to be part of, but it has been amazing to see how the project developed through Nicci's wonderful photography! Nicci is a self-taught photographer. She felt that the photographs that she had been taking on her basic camera and smart phone was not showing off her work in the way that she wanted and decided that investing in a good camera and learning a little more about how to take a good photograph would be a good investment for her business. 

I would like to thank Nicci for sharing her amazing Chelsea Jungle experience and photographs with us, and to also congratulate Catherine and Fiona for bringing balloons to Chelsea Flower Show, something that I thought would never happen!

Nicci will be back for a future blog where she will share a few of her top tips for taking a great photograph and more!

Happy ballooning!



Milo Anderson said...

I was also be the part of The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It was more than beautiful and we the audience feels like we are in the heaven. There were flowers with the balloons and the lighting was fabulous.

Darren Demers said...

I would like to thank Nicci for sharing her amazing Chelsea Jungle experience and photographs with us, and to also congratulate Catherine and Fiona for bringing balloons to Chelsea Flower Show, something that I thought would never happen! lawn collection 2016 with price , lown dress design 2016 with price

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