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The Language of Flowers (Sligo)

by Catherine Fanning

Flowers and the meanings associated with them were the starting point for Catherine Fanning’s art journal work.

Flowers carry several cultural meanings surrounding the death of a loved one. Sympathy flowers are sent to show support to a family that is grieving a loss. Flowers convey love, facilitate expression, provide meaning and communicate emotions that words sometimes fail to capture.   

Funeral flowers are symbolic of certain emotions, and while the general message of a sympathy flower will be understood in any context, individual types of flowers and plants can communicate slightly different meanings, examples being:

  • the Gladiolus – a representation of strength and character
  • White Clover – think of me
  • Forget-Me-Not communicates this simple but essential message to a family – your loved one lives on in our memories
  • Butterfly Weed – let me go
  • Honey Suckle – bonds of love

Through the pages of her art journal, Catherine utilised mixed media, print, and collage to create the visual images used to explore the language of flowers