Sanne Vaassen is interested in how flowers have been used as carriers of messages for cultures, religions and nations. She investigates how these symbols have been developed, interpreted, taken over or adapted and forgotten.


For this performance she focuses on the ‘secret language of flowers’; Floriography. The use of this language was customary amongst a certain class of Victorians to present gifts consisting of flowers and plants arranged into bouquets to convey a coded message. Upon receiving one of these ‘Nosegay’ a woman could reference a Victorian society flower dictionary to de-code the message. Within these dictionaries, the language of the flowers is described in detail. Small conversations were exchanged with speaking bouquets.


Within this performance visitors are invited to create flower arrangements and discover ‘the secret language’ of the flowers by using a ‘Flower Dictionary’ to translate the flowers into words. 


This performance was interwoven with the performance Tea Pavilion of Anne Büscher. She presented her Tea Ceremony in which participants are invited to sit down and have tea made with glass bubbles filled with flowers. While contemplating the glass mobile, and the flower arrangements they are encouraged to enjoy the precious and transcendent quality of the objects involved.


This performance/workshop came into being for the exhibition Transendence at Fructa Space, Munich (DE) together with Anne Büscher.

Unspoken, workshop/performance, 2020

Photo credits: Anne Büscher

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