A FLORAL DESIGNER IN HARMONY WITH NATURE
Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Shane Connolly's childhood love of nature, flora and fauna has evolved into a lifelong interest in horticulture. With an organic approach to floral design, he selects flowers and foliage for their own intrinsic qualities; his designs aim to flatter these idiosyncrasies in a quirky, unpretentious style, heralded for its elegance and originality. He is firmly associated with the use of seasonal British flowers, and whether growing in pots or cultivated for purpose, all the plants and flowers Shane uses are local, sustainably sourced and can be planted out in a garden or composted afterwards.
He began his floristry apprenticeship in London with Pulbrook & Gould under the guidance of legendary royal florist Michael Goulding OBE. By 1989 he was ready to establish his eponymous business, and over the past 28 years he has become internationally known working for private and corporate clients including London's Victoria & Albert Museum and the Royal Academy of Arts, where he thoroughly relishes the satisfying challenge of designing events around the ever-changing exhibitions in both venues.
His client list has been described by Harpers & Queen magazine as 'enviable' and his discretion is legendary. In 2005 Connolly was invited to design the flowers by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall for her marriage to HRH The Prince of Wales at the Service of Dedication at Windsor Castle. In recognition of this, he was awarded a Royal Warrant of Appointment to HRH The Prince of Wales in 2006. A few years later, in 2011, Connolly was appointed Artistic Director for the wedding of TRH's The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. According to the Daily Telegraph this propelled Shane Connolly 'from enigmatic unknown to one of the most famous florists in the world'. A second Royal Warrant of Appointment was awarded by HM The Queen in 2015.
Connolly regularly lectures and conducts masterclasses both at Highgrove and as far afield as the US, South Africa, Korea, France, Japan and India. His thoughtful approach to all his commissions is underpinned by an ethos of 'design led by nature' and the return to the garden or compost of his magical creations after the party is over. In 2017 his studios on Latimer Road will play host to a series of UK workshops expounding his creative theories and unstructured floral displays. Topics range from the creation of glorious, growing table-scapes to lush, natural Christmas wreaths with an unexpected twist.
Connolly published his first book, Table Flowers in 1996 followed by Shane Connolly's Wedding Flowers in 1998; The Secret Language of Flowers was published in 2004 and A Year in Flowers published in 2012. His fifth book Discovering the Meaning of Flowers was launched in February 2017.
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