It 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 dictionary, the language of the flowers is described in detail. Small conversations were exchanged with speaking bouquets.

Verbloemen / Nosegay by Sanne Vaassen utilises these dictionary to re-interpret the speeches of contemporary politicians, by working from the words and then to the flora equivalent. Every word that is used in the speech is translated into the flora and then into an essence that then forms a scent. Six speeches become six perfumes, transforming words to perfume.

The following speeches are transformed into perfume;

Inauguration by Donald Trump
Resignation by Theresa May
Inauguração by Jair Bolsonaro
Resignation by Hassan Diab
Dear Soldiers by Narendra Modi
Corona Statement by Angela Merkel

Verbloemen/ Nosegay is an ongoing project. Every year Vaassen will translate new speeches into perfumes.

Verbloemen / Nosegay, Perfume, 100 x 16 x 16 cm, 2019

Text written by Stacie McCormick for the solo exhibition Surplus to Purpose (2019) at Unit 1 Gallery | Workshop, London, UK.

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