Sunday, October 18, 2015

Flower House Detroit: Beauty for Ashes

"Common Ground" Installation, by Toronto Flower Market Team
Installation/Design by Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio
Made Floral, Martha DeFlorio

All Photos by Alvita Lozano

Detroit is being transformed, that's not a new story.  How it's being transformed is.  Who knew that Blight, Flowers, Fashion, hard Work and a whole lot of Faith would converge like this?  To witness it come together as a volunteer for Lisa Waud's Detroit based Flower House project is a full circle kind of thing.  You can't make this stuff up. 

What the Pot and Box owner has envisioned and launched is indeed a "Beauty for Ashes" transformation.  In part because it is so inclusive, Beautiful, and like most things in life, temporary (Flower House Exhibit).

The blighted and abandoned homes and lots Lisa procured (4 total) will be replaced by a flower farm.

Admittedly inspired by the 2012 documentary "Dior and I", where Creative Director Raf Simmons honored Christian Dior's legacy with a flower filled mansion as the backdrop for his premier fashion collection debut, I was thrilled to attend a public viewing of the documentary last week at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  Everyone who attended the viewing (Lisa, her staff, partners, volunteers and the public) wore their best floral ensemble and enjoyed another element of inspiration. 

Upon viewing the documentary, I picked up the "Dior" book by Francoise Giroud and Sacha Van Dorssen and found the following fascinating quotes about Christian Dior's life: 

"The problem of where to live continued to obsess them...; Dior, a high-class tramp, found refuge in a building that was being demolished, but the roof leaked and he came home one day to find neither water nor electricity in his garret." 

"Helped by his sister Dior pulled up the flowers, dug up the soil, and planted vegetables."  "....Dior had become a farmer, living according to the rhythm of the sun using candles to light his home, and feeling a certain sense of well-being, however harsh the days may have been."

Perhaps this is all coincidence, but I prefer to see a beautiful circle of points that connect, The Flower House Project, Christian Dior, the "Dior and I" documentary and Lisa Waud's vision as something more profound and timeless, dare I say magical.

The following scripture at least for me, tie so many things together and say it best: 

 Isaiah 61:3-4 "To grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of the spirit of fainting.  So that they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified.  Then they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastation's; and they will repair the ruined cities, the desolation of many generations." 

 Let it be, Shalom, Amen and thank you Lisa Waud for the bold vision that is Flower House Detroit!

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