ABOUT THE BOOK
The Hortus is an open investigation into the nature of seemingly common objects through ‘Floriography’, urban gardens, and the history of female rights. Hortus was inspired by urban gardens in West Amsterdam and created with its plants by Lilia Luganskaia.
History teaches us that a language of flowers can communicate endless things about the culture in which it emerged, and herein lies Lilia Luganskaia’s interest. Taking inspiration from the world of 19th Century sentimental flower books, Hortus presents itself as a set of notes towards a modern handbook for contemporary floriography, considering what the discipline might look like today. By collecting common flora across one year in the urban gardens around her home in Amsterdam and cross-referencing their meanings with publications from the past, Luganskaia reflects on their natures, their roles, and the symbolic familiarity they might hold for the communities living with them. A female artist and reader of the twenty-first century, she seeks out the essence of modern life through her lens, and through flowers, just like the women who came before her.