‘He takes a form that nature creates and from this makes something that has never been made before. This man’s hands can create anything that his mind can conceive.’
These are the reverential words Cees Nooteboom, Dutch writer, poet and journalist, once spoke about Daniel Ost, the renowned Belgian floral artist and garden architect for whom flowers have always represented the purest and most profound means of communication.
It was during childhood that Ost began using floral composition as a means of expressing feelings of serenity, frugality, joy and passion. An obsessive perfectionism turned this childhood delight into a blossoming career, and his natural eye for beauty and intrinsic professionalism have paved the way to a client roster includes various international royal families, sheiks, Christie’s auction house, and humanitarian organisations such as UNICEF. This is a man who once travelled 500km to collect a single orchid. After all, the artist himself always says: ‘The difference between the ordinary and the extraordinary is in the detail.’
Ost is as comfortable creating an exquisite floral wedding scene as he is a mesmerising bamboo spectacle for a corporate event, or displaying his natural sculptures in a museum as part of an exhibition. In 2013 he was invited to Shimane, Japan – a country heralded for its relationship with flowers, and in which his work has always been treated with the utmost respect – to decorate the sanctuary temple of Izumo. ‘In the West, we work with the body of the flower,’ said Ost. ‘In the East, they add the soul.’