ARTISAN TEXTILE DESIGNER

The Story behind 'Hidden Meanings (Gloxinia)' Design

The story behind the design ‘Hidden Meanings’ started at Cotehele, a Tudor House rebuilt by three generations of Edgcumbes between 1485 and 1560, in the beautiful Tamar Valley. In the 100thanniversary year of the end of the First World War, a trail at Cotehele gardens relates the flowers and their meanings. 

During the war people often gave posies of local flowers to soldiers who were leaving home to serve their country and the flowers all had special meanings, so were chosen carefully, so loved ones going away to fight could remember home and those left behind thinking of them.  Inspiration was found in a wander through the gardens following the trail to ‘find out the secret meanings of Cotehele’s flowers’, with such titles as ‘return to happiness’, ‘love and remembrance’ and ‘may you find safety’.

So, a look into the Symbolic Meaning of Flowers began, this starting point is mixed with the idea of ‘hand-tinting’ images, after being inspired by a trip to the Photographers Gallery, London to see ‘Primrose: Early Colour Photography in Russia’ 2014.  Hand-colouring refers to any method of manually adding colour to black and white photographs either to heighten the realism or for artistic purposes. 

An exploration and research into the symbolic meaning of flowers and hand-tinting methods of images using oils, watercolours and dyes, then further work in developing the pattern using the flower ‘gloxinia’, and adding in a further influence of early 1950’s design. The symbolic meaning for Gloxinia is ‘Love At First Sight’….and who knows, may have been one of those given in a posy to someone leaving….