Monika from Poland studied “Experimental expressions with plant materials” at Vea in 2014/2015. We asked her about what this education has meant for her.
What lead you to choose the education «Experimental expressions with plant materials (EX)» at Vea in Norway?
I heard about it from my friend. Once I conducted Landart, and there I met some people who knew Runi (teacher at EX). I thought Vea was the right school and EX the right study! And I was right!!
How was the study organized?
We had been attending Vea in Norway during four different weeks for one year. Also there was one gathering in Sweden and one more meeting in Italy.
I could keep on working as a florist and a teacher.
I got cheap tickets for plane and train. It didn’t cost too much money. The accommodation at school is cheap. You pay for a room and get bedlinen, towels, lunch and dinner included for the days you have gatherings.
How was the class?
All the students were very nice and I always enjoy coming back and meeting them again. The teachers make a very good atmosphere in the class. They are very open and they open us. Though teachers are very different, they work great together and they are good to cooperate. Moreover, they never give me an answer, I must find the answers myself.
What has this education meant for you?
For me it was very good. I was never afraid of anything. It was a new experience, because of the way of teaching. In Poland we learn how to be quiet and here at Vea in Norway we were supposed to talk and be honest, both to ourselves and to other students.
Now I am more open and I am better in believing myself. I am not afraid of anything and I dare to experiment. I have also learnt how to get new knowledge. What I have learnt at Vea has also been useful in my study of how to teach. Vea has also a beautiful library! I can sit there for hours!!
In addition I learned a lot about flower shop. I have changed my flower shop, both place and concept. Another kind of customers. I show them the possibility. They can see it is useful to pay for the craft. I learned to use materials in a different way. I dare to use more natural materials. Earlier i didn’t dare to use dried or dead materials.
I have also some new thoughts about the shop. Maybe I can give the customers the possibility of try to work and experiment by themselves? Or maybe have a café in the shop where the customers can sit down, relax and watch us working with plant materials.
Also, the education was very useful in my work as a teacher. Being a student myself, has made me a better teacher. I think it is important to teach grown up people.
What are you doing now?
I am still working as a teacher and running my flower shop. I take part in exhibitions and participate in flower festivals as well.
This year I had one big exhibition in February and one more in May. In this exhibition I mixed together plant materials and flowers. I wanted to make an exhibition for people.
In – Evening performance, project SPACE- Monika Bębenek
Place – Międzynarodowe Targi Poznańskie, Special Days, Evening Gala Deco Motion art SPACE project.
Only the imagination limits us in flowers. Transformation, emotions, performance, dance, flowers, light … The second edition of the Flower of Giants. Magic, longing, emotions … The night garden of dreams that arises in front of your eyes.
Design and implementation: Monika Bębenek. Photo: Space Jarosław Krytkowski