≡ Menu

Floriography: the bureau of the unsaid

21 May – 12 June 2016


Dalston Eastern Curve Garden is hosting ‘Floriography: The Bureau of the Unsaid’ by artist Emily Tracy, for Chelsea Fringe 2016.

‘Floriography’, the language of flowers, has been around for over a thousand years and was especially popular with the Victorians. Gifts of blooms, plants and specific floral arrangements were used to deliver a coded message to the recipient, allowing the sender to express feelings, which could not be spoken aloud in Victorian society. ‘The Bureau of the Unsaid’ will revive and update this cryptic and intriguing means of communication to help visitors express themselves with friends and family.

A pop-up florist’s office, filled with flowers entirely constructed from paper has been installed for the duration of the Chelsea Fringe, with new paper blooms added by workshop participants over the opening weekend, complete with typewritten translations for the uninitiated.

If you need to say ‘Yes’ then a solid coloured carnation would do the trick, for ‘No’ that would be a striped Carnation, to say ‘Sorry’ that’s a purple Hyacinth, a purple Lilac is ‘I think I am falling in love’, and ‘I am dangerous’ is a sprig of Rhododendron, for ‘Can you get some milk on the way home’ a bunch of White Roses will say it for you.

Emily will be popping in from time to time during the Chelsea Fringe to help code some more floral messages.

Events for Chelsea Fringe at the Garden continue until 12 June.