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Ballito’s floral art specialist is blooming marvelous

Cossey said the secret to floral art is originality and simplicity.

Besides being a mother to 300 cats with the Feline Feral Fund, Ballito’s Sharon Cossey is also a skilled floral art specialist and has recently added another first prize to her collection.

“I have always loved being outdoors, working with plants and being creative,” said the soft-spoken Cossey, who started playing with floral art about 30 years ago.

“I completed my three-year National Design Diploma in 2000 and started judging and teaching floral art. I did not enjoy having to criticize the work of someone who put so much effort into it, but I loved teaching. I believe it is vitally important to share your passion. Inspiring people to create something and seeing them stand back and look at what they made was so rewarding,” said Cossey, who started floral art teaching programmes for disabled children in 2004.

“Teaching children that you do not have to be clever to be talented was a real highlight and exceptionally humbling. I still get goosebumps thinking about the proud moment when I saw how well my art kiddies did at the Floral Art Indaba in 2007.”

Cossey has won many awards, with her most recent achievement being a first in her class at the fifth Annual Musgrave Centre Flower Show.

“We had to choose a quilt and create a floral art piece to compliment it. My creation was called “Lost in Marrakesh”, as the quilt was inspired by the colours and streets of the Moroccan city. I like modern, minimalist designs, where I can push the boundaries. I always want a challenge. Being normal is not an option.”

Despite her achievements, Cossey remained humble and said she did not see herself as particularly talented or creative.

“It is just practice. I did the flowers for 12 Durban Julys, which is where I really got good practice at being innovative, while dealing with the responsibility and pressure of creating 300 arrangements with a measly budget of about R25 per arrangements. I spent months collecting plant material, shells, driftwood and anything else I could find.”

Cossey said the secret to floral art is originality and simplicity.

“We always say, “when in doubt, leave it out. You have to leave space for the butterflies to sit on your floral art.”

While she comes across as a gentle, gracious lady, Cossey has an adventurous side to her, which has seen her do the Bloukrans bungy jump, tandem skydive over Plettenberg Bay and the big swing at Moses Mabhida stadium.

“I have a bucket list and I am working my way through it. Next on the list is the Chelsea Flower Show in England next year.”


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