Oak leaves, Zinnia, Orchid
The ever lovely, talented and kind *machine-guts
I conceived of the idea for flower code portraits more than a year ago. It has been sitting on my task list for all that time, and it was not until the beginning of 2007 that I began the first one, and I did not unfortunately have the time to finish it until last weekend.
Flower code, also known as floriography or the Victorian language of flowers, is a practice that has existed in eastern cultures for some time, and was made popular in Victorian society. Each flower or plant was assigned a meaning, and a bouquet of such flora could be given to the recipient to communicate a message. Whether declarations of undying love, attestment of loyalty and friendship, a pointed insult or invitation to enmity or merely a token praising the intended's unique qualities, they were a beautiful, elegant and transient form of cryptography.
I have been captivated by the idea of floriography for some time and would love to see the practice revived, but I am aware that the art of giving flowers is reserved these days for romantic courters, certain hallmark holidays and sickbeds and funerals. So I decided that I would do a series of portraits including flower codes in the artwork.
These portraits are intended as both symbols of and messages to their subjects, whom I hold dear.