Seeds of Change: Contemporary Flower extravaganza at historic Fairfax House

24 May 2011

24th May 2011


Photocall Opportunity: Askham Bryan College will be installing spectacular flower creations at Fairfax House on Friday, 17th June between 3.00 and 3.30pm.

Fairfax House inspires seeds of change with a major Flower Festival this June. Contemporary will meet historic when the power of the Flower will be celebrated in a weeklong festival of flowers at Fairfax House. This historic Georgian townhouse will be decked throughout each of its period rooms and grand staircase with stunning, avant-garde floral creations by the Askham Bryan college students of floristry.

Fairfax House Director, Hannah Phillip explains that “we are aiming to let visitors see how Georgian spaces were made for the display of flowers. Georgians loved to bring flowers into their homes and used every available space for displaying them.

This Flower Festival will see some of the most inventive designs set against the 18th century back drop of a Georgian townhouse, and we are looking forward to seeing some exciting results, and how contemporary design can complement historic structures, and vice versa. This is a great opportunity to see how the students are going to interpret the spaces and architectural details and bring something very fresh and novel to the house.”

Askham Bryan floristry course has a reputation for producing students renowned for their innovative and contemporary flower designs. As a testament to the success and outstanding achievements of the course, Askham Bryan has just recently won the Gold Medal for Best in Show at Harrogate Flower Show 2011.

Hannah Phillip explained that, “Fairfax House and the York Civic Trust sees supporting education as being a central part of its mission, and are pleased to be able to encourage and inspire students and provide special opportunities for them to test their skills, techniques, and creativity with this latest project. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Askham Bryan College on this important and what we believe will be an inspirational festival.”

Flower Power is linked to the current major exhibition Gilding the Lily which explores the flower in decorating Georgian decorative arts, and showcases exceptional florally-inspired, 18th century treasures from collections around the country including the Royal Collection, British Museum and many public and private collections.

Flower Power is the second Flower Festival to be held at Fairfax house; the first drew thousands of visitors through its doors in 2008, and this latest offering as part of its new and exciting events programme is destined to do the same. Fairfax House hopes that visitors will be inspired by the innovative and creative designs in the Festival and see how works of art can be created from the natural world. This year, Fairfax House will be asking members of the public for their input to this Festival, with a public choice award being offered for the design voted most original and best-inspired by the space.

Entry to the Flower Festival is through purchase of a general admission ticket, which also includes entry to the exhibition, Gilding the Lily. Tickets cost £6.00 (£5.00 Concession, children under 16 are Free) and are valid for one year.

Fairfax House is open Tues – Sat: 10am to 4.30pm and Sunday 12.30pm to 3.30pm. Guided tours are also available at 11am and 2pm on Mondays.

For more information visit the website at




Press Contacts:         Hannah Phillip, Director Tel: 01904 655543