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Interview with the students at Experimental expressions with plant materials

We (VG2) got the task to interview Valgerdur, Bryndis and Gudrun, the Icelandic students at Experimental expressions with plant materials (EX). 

During the interview, we got the chance to ask them a lot of interesting questions about what they do at EX and what it's like to study in another country.

Where did you learn about Vea?

A former student at Vea had recommended the school and in 2015 one of the current students at Vea decided to start here. This year she came back with the two others.

A little bit about them

Two of the students met at a gardening school in Iceland. All of them works as florists and have been working in the industry for about twenty years. "It’s never too late to start something new and EX has opened a lot of new doors!"

When we are here for sessions we live at Vea. It’s something that we enjoy because we get the opportunity to work whenever we want, even during weekends. We also enjoy looking at the products other classes make.

 

Floristry education in Iceland

There is only one school in Iceland that offers an education in floristry, so everyone who wants to become a florist in Iceland and doesn’t study abroad goes to this school. All three of us went there.

It’s not enough students there to establish a class of florists every year.  The school is quite similar to Vea, only smaller. 

What is it like to be a student here at EX?

It's a lot of fun at EX, we get to step "out of our boxes" and learn new things. We experiment a lot, not just with flowers but with plant materials in general. 

We gather for seven sessions over a year. Each session lasts from 7 to 10 days. The traveling distance between Iceland and Vea has never been a problem, it's just a short plane and train ride away. 

Favourite part of EX

Our favourite part is all of the new tasks we get. The tasks are open for interpretation, and we often find new sides of ourselves. We also get to discover new ways to do things, like using different techniques and materials. 

To study in a completely different language

Studying in another language can be difficult, but it helps that there are three of us so we can help each other out. Norwegians speak English well, and we usually communicate easily. If we're stuck we use body language.

We also learn a lot of language from each other, we have learned a bit Norwegian and the Norwegians have learned a bit of Icelandic since school started.

Project

The projects we get varies in length from one day to three weeks, depending on the topic and size. Some examples are ice sculptures, "self-portraits" and even management. We work with projects at home between sessions at Vea.

Not everyone in the class are florists, some of us work with textiles and some are artists. When we work together we use each other's imprints and usually something new comes out of it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

We have a lot of group projects and we get to learn about art. We experiment a lot with the materials, we have even tried to put tulips in a blender to see what we can do with every part of the plant!

How is it to be away from your families?

It isn't that hard to be away from home since we're only here for 7 to 10 days at the time. We always think about Vea when we're at home. It's been a dream coming to Vea, and anyway, Norway and Iceland are not that different, so it's like coming home, except that Norway has more trees. 

Flowers

Floristry is a small "community" in Iceland. Not many buy flowers for their home, they only buy flowers for special occasions, so most of the flower shops are gift shop as well. We have a flower town, Hveragerdi, that’s where the gardening school lies. In this town we have an annual flower festival. People come here from all over Scandinavia to join. If you work at the festival you get a free stay and food. 

Fun fact: there are 23 flower shops in Reykjavik, in Oslo there are 71.

If you’re interested in nature and want to try something new, then EX is the place for you. You get to think "out of the box" and challenge your mind. Vea is a fantastic school, "a hidden diamond!" It’s not just an education for florists, if you’re a creative person with an open mind, then come to Vea.

Written by Johanne Karlsen, Nadja Margrete Otervik and Cicilie Marita Rønning

Photo: Eli Bentzen

Oppdatert 26.03.2018