The Botanical Banners were developed for Intuinen, an exhibition by Fijne Kunsten that took place in the gardens of people living in the centre of Amersfoort.
Both stem from research into the role of nature/flowers in storytelling. For a while now, I’ve been looking into the various symbolical meanings that are ascribed to natural elements in traditional storytelling.
Since the works were going to be shown from people’s houses, I also wanted to take the homeliness/craftiness of textile into it. I asked the homeowners to take the textiles into their home at night, and hang them out the window every morning, like you would also do with bedding. I liked the idea of this small ritual getting attached to the works.
The Thyme/Sage banner focusses on the idea of using these herbs as a way of protecting your home. I read about a medieval ritual of braiding thyme and hanging it from your window, or burning a twig of thyme or sage as a way of protecting a place. The text, ‘I am well’ is a literal translation of the Latin name for sage: salvia. The design for the work is based on the traditional ‘Log Cabin’ quilt block, a quilt pattern that symbolizes a safe home.
The Marigold banner is based on a story a close friend told me about marigolds. Apparently, it’s a folk wisdom that when a marigold suddenly comes up in your garden, someone in your home will pass away soon.
I was touched by this story, and decided to use it as the focus for this second banner. The marigold in the middle is surrounded by a slightly sinister text about how you can never fully know what’s hiding beneath the soil of your garden.