Artistic Promise: Simone Gooch brings the outside in

A living ceiling of flowers and foliage is the flourishing expression of florist Simone Gooch’s elemental calling.

Into the cosy kitchen of Simone Gooch, a stranger has come calling. Curling up the wall and creeping across the ceiling, nudging into nooks and flowering out of pots, a vigorous assortment of fresh, captivating floral and plant life has made itself resident in the sought-after florist’s modest Sydney apartment.

The beguiling canopy is the brainchild of artist and florist Lisa Cooper and photographer Harold David, who are shooting a series of elaborate installations around Australia in an endeavour to capture the essence of people’s art. “Simone does very elemental flower work; she teases out each beautiful detail,” says Cooper. “You have to really look into the flowers to see what is going on.”

The floral artistry at which Gooch excels has broken its bonds and run free across the domestic terrain with bacchanalian triumph. Cooper hooked a wire through a wicker chair to train the flowers – black cabbage, ivy, Camellia sasanqua and ornamental grapevines bought at the markets that morning – up the wall and on to the ceiling. Hydrangeas and trays of herbs on the counter, oxheart tomatoes on the kitchen table and orchids and a bowl of crab-apples atop brick shelving form a Caravaggio-esque still life.

In the bedroom, camellia branches line the walls in rustling synchronicity. “It was like a fantasy land, emphasising and exaggerating the experience of having flowers in your home,” says Gooch, who has left the kitchen’s wire structure in place for future flights of fancy. Adds Cooper: “We wanted the scene to look enchanted. The idea was to make visual what goes on in Simone’s head and in her heart.”

Visit or learn more about Simone Gooch at
Text: Lisa Thomas
Producer/stylist: Lisa Cooper
Photographs: Harold David

5 Responses to “Artistic Promise: Simone Gooch brings the outside in”
  1. Georgia says:

    TO DIE FOR!!! That’s it, I’m off to Bunnings and the markets to wire up my house with a permanent foliage structure. Great story VL

  2. Prue says:

    Lovely, Lisa – you’ve captured the magic in the idea of a jungle inside – remember in Finn Family Moomintroll where the jungle grew out of the peelings in the hobgoblins hat?

  3. anna says:

    Oooh this seems to remind me of the article in Inside Out a few years ago ….

  4. dr.c says:


    I don’t remember that but your words are imaging, how wonderful!


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