Florilegium (2015-2017) Reinterpreting the medieval practice of “florilegia”—collecting and compiling the chosen parts of a text—in a process that renders the blossoms visible while the rest of the plant, or book, disappears
“Florilegium” in latin literally means “a gathering of flowers”. In medieval practice, it referred both to a personal compilation of cut-and-paste parts of a text that held personal interest and required further reflection, and a compilation of exotic plant drawings. These works address both meanings; it is a collaged approach to the “exotic” plants collected by Joseph F. Rock in China and Tibet in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
Funded by both National Geographic and the Harvard Arboretum, Joseph Rock took photographs of the region of Kham and sent back seeds and specimens from this geographically unique area to herbariums in the US and England. These flowers and plants--such as varietals of rhododendron and lilacs--were literally plucked from their context, and became garden varieties in the US and Europe.
These works--constructed using contemporary landscape and gardening publications published in the US--are the result of a double edting process: First Joseph Rock's and then my own. A double florilegia.