As Big as a Bus!


17th April - 31st August

The Japanese custom of Hanami celebrates the arrival of spring. Translated, “Hana” means “flower” and “Mi” means “look”. The Japanese have been gathering to admire the short-lived cherry blossom of spring for over a thousand years.

It is particularly poignant at this time as the delicate cherry blossom–sakura–symbolises the beauty, fragility and transience of life. It is a time for appreciation and making closer connections to others.

The giving of flowers is a cultural tradition in many countries. Flowers have a way of communicating deeply felt emotions without words be it love, gratitude, sympathy, grief, respect or thanks. Let’s capture the spirit of spring blossom and use flowers to send messages to loved ones. 

Project Hanami Activities

Choose one or do all three activities as many times as you like.

These activities can be used to support Arts Award, a suite of awards and qualifications designed to investigate routes into arts careers and leadership.

Flower painting: 

Find some blossom or spring flowers and make a painting of them. Work from pictures if you don’t have access to real flowers.

Use colours that capture the fresh vibrancy of spring. You could include a vivid blue sky like the picture above. Try to avoid black outlines around the flowers.

If flowers are not your thing, paint birds.

Share a message – who would you give the flower to and what would you say?

Flower pressing

Put flowers between two pieces of newspaper before popping into a heavy book. Leave the flowers for a few weeks to dry.

Create a journal entry. Where did you pick the flowers? Why did you choose those flowers? What went through your thoughts that day?

 How has your life changed? What things are you struggling with? What positive things can you focus on?  

Illustrate your journal with pressed flowers. 

3D paper flowers

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding. Create 3D origami flowers. Our origami videos are coming soon, meanwhile look on youtube.

Tektura have made available for  download selected designs from their range of beautiful papers by world class artists. Use these as origami papers for your flowers.

Share a message – who is it for? 

Your flowers with messages will be turned into garlands for a community art installation.

When you’ve finished

  • Photograph your paintings, flower pressings and journal entries, 3D flowers and email them to
  • Put Project Hanami in the Subject
  • Include the artist’s name, age and the first part of your postcode (eg B92 if your postcode is B92 7EA)
  • Add the name of the person with whom we should communicate for exhibition purposes
  • Keep all original artwork safe—we will need this later for the exhibition
  • Either keep checking back here for updates on the exhibition or sign up for updates below
All the artwork captures precious moments in time. We would like to thank you in advance for sharing your work with us. Your work will document a world-changing event and make a fabulous celebration of community spirit. We look forward to watching the community artwork literally blossom over the coming months.