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Portrait Gary

Gerry George Loen (1962) owned a successful flower studio in Uden, Holland (1990-2008). It served individuals and companies in Uden and a wide surrounding area with specialized and somewhat more exclusive work. Loen describes himself as self-taught, but adds that he has had good teachers ever since he was young. "I have constantly been able to look over the shoulders of experienced designers," he says. A highlight in his career was his participation in the preliminary rounds of the Dutch Championship in which he reached the finals.

Since January 2009 his office is based in Amsterdam.

The atelier is located at the flower auction at Rijnsburg.

Since December 2000 he has been the 'regular' face on the the Dutch TV-show flower spot on TV Woonmagazine, produced by the broadcaster Veronica. He has arranged trend shows in Paris, Barcelona, Jakarta, Moscow, Essen, Bratislava and Brussels amongst other places. He was responsible for a major bridal flowers show in St. Petersburg (in collaboration with the couturier Frans Molenaar). He has also arranged stage dressing in the Hermitage Theatre (also in St. Petersburg) and works as a trainer for the two biggest garden-centre chains in France (Truffaut and Botanic). Gary Loen is regularly asked to carry out special commissions, such as a presentation bouquet for the Russian First Lady, Mrs Putin, and a weddingbouquet for H.R.H. the Prince Bernard Jr. of the Netherlands. Demonstrations, stage shows, masterclasses, photoshoots, product launches, stand design, training courses... his resemate encompasses the whole range.

Interaction

Gary Loen works for the Flower Council in France and French speaking Belgium. He does not only experiences demonstrations abroad as an opportunity to pass on knowledge and experience, he also feels that they benefit his work. "They provide variety and prevent you from becoming blinkered in the confines of your own shop. Furthermore, one can learn from everyone, including from colleagues abroad. They produce an interaction in which you provide one another with building blocks." Gary Loen's focus is wide; it is not surprising that he is a participant in the Flower Council of Holland's Flower Trends Programme. Tunnel vision is not advisable, he believes. "You can gain inspiration from everything: fashion, art, other countries with their regional differences, interior design ... the list is endless."

Worthwhile demonstrations

In his work, Gary Loen has a clear preference: he likes an extravagant arrangement with full, open flowers - "feel free to call it a decadent style" - and uses tulips and orchids more often than is usual. "Their expressive value is so great that you can do more with them."

The demonstrations makes stiff demands of a designer, he says. "It's particularly important to respond carefully to wishes and needs. You need a flexible attitude and the ability to improvise, but the end result is a worthwhile demonstration or workshop - in collaboration with the participants."