Timo Bolte is an incredible artist with a certified ‘midas-touch’ when it comes to creative floristry. Recently, Timo got a chance to once again showcase his ingenuity when the team at Dolls Blumen was tasked with decorating the Austrian national assembly during the inauguration of the country’s new president, Alexander Van der Bellen. We spoke to Timo about the project, his passion for floral art and why he chose top quality Porta Nova roses in executing this important task.
It must have been a very exciting opportunity to work at such a historic event. How much did this project mean to you?
The presidential inauguration project was a really special one for us. Together with Doll´s Blumen Wien and the amazing team we had the honor to decorate this special occasion. It is not an everyday task to decorate the old historical room in the parliament. What made it even more important was the knowledge that the whole of Austria and also other people across the world will be witnessing this moment when the new president is stepping into office. Although the ceremony was not as anticipated and spectacular as the US inauguration, it was by no means any less important.
Was there a particular theme behind your decoration?
The main aim was to adorn the old historical room and the statues in Austrian colors of red and white. Since the huge statues are already made of white marble, we just needed to accentuate the red a bit more. The special challenge we had was the available space and what view it allowed the camera. The decoration was to be visible but not too much or over the top, so everybody could still focus on the new president.
Why did you choose to use Porta Nova roses?
We needed a flower that had a strong red, similar to the color of the flag with a big calm blossom. We wanted a flower that we could trust to remain in good form in this rather ‘hot-room’ that had hundreds of people inside. We did not want to have a situation where during this event a flower would be seen ‘hanging’ or dangling from the arrangement. But we have been lucky. Millions of eyes have seen this ceremony on television and in newspapers and in all photos the roses look gorgeous.
In what other events or projects do you use Porta Nova Red Naomi?
We use Porta Nova Red Naomi roses quite frequently; she is one of the flowers I really trust. And with its velvet structure it perfectly fits in all the historic buildings in Vienna. Everywhere are red carpets or fabrics at the windows. So Porta Nova Red Naomi is a perfect partner for these occasions. There is one event I especially recall. It was an Arabian wedding, and we had decorated the whole entrance just with Porta Nova roses. Columns, big vases and even their fillings were nothing but roses and more roses everywhere. That was amazing!
How long did it take for you to complete the job?
Not so long- the 10 wreaths had been prepared a day before the event. The morning of the inauguration day, we delivered the Porta Nova wreaths, swiped them over the statues, spruced it up and made small repairs on some parts. The task was all completed in not more than one working day.
You are well known for your richly artistic and sometimes abstract form of floral art. Do you have a particular signature style?
I guess my concept of combining all styles, architecture, social components, design trends and personality of the artist in floristic work is what makes my signature. For me the most important are repetitions of stylistics, design or other elements. You will always find pieces from the location in my design. Or even the play with contrasts, but always close to the venue. I am happy when the guests realize the topic or theme of design. My overriding goal has always been to fascinate people, create special moments and to surprise. I want to set the plant in the right light, place them on a pedestal. I want to make it clear to people that such a culture is entirely due tot he plants. Plants have always been an active component of our lives, and still are. They turn any event into a special moment.
What thrills you the most about your job?
Being able to ‘whisk’ the visitor away for a few minutes into a completely different world, that’s the best part of my job. As someone who loves to travel and work as a teacher, I cannot be fixed into a tendency. I need to be flexible to understand new cultures. That’s why for example I went to Asia to get to know firsthand different cultures and techniques. Even to explore the unexpected and material mix. I try to find a correlation between different cultures. The pride I have for my own culture goes together with my admiration for foreign cultures. It is the chance of taking a piece of everything to be able to create something new.